Bone cancer research advances to clinical study
A Phase I clinical trial has opened to test a new treatment for recurrent and refractory osteosarcoma. The therapy stems from discoveries in the University of Minnesota lab of Branden Moriarity, Ph.D.
Moriarity, a Masonic Cancer Center member and an assistant professor in the Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics, has been working with the Rochester, N.Y.–based company Vaccinex Inc. for the past few years to bring the therapy to people with this stubborn type of bone cancer.
The study will determine the optimal and safe dose of a medication that’s designed to inhibit the gene SEMA4D, which Moriarity and colleagues found was associated with osteosarcoma’s growth. Vaccinex produces an antibody that has been used to target SEMA4D in clinical trials for other types of solid tumors.
The osteosarcoma clinical study, supported by the National Cancer Institute, is available at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and other sites around the country.