Fred Hutch and the OHSU/Knight Cancer Research Centers are power houses in the adult cancer space. But a project focusing on a new target in osteosarcoma will use the technology and resources at these two institutions for the benefit of kids and young adults. This is such great news! The hope is to determine whether a particular protein, FOLR1, is found on osteosarcoma cells, and to exploit those cells with a specially designed CAR T-cell therapy. Typically, cancers that test positive for FOLR1 are associated with worse outcomes, which makes this a high priority need for more curative options. If FOLR1 is present (and they hypothesize this is true), there is hope for CAR T-cell therapy for FOLR1 to be effective in osteosarcoma.
Once the first phase of this study is complete, the exciting next steps will accelerate the research toward a clinical trial in short order. They can do this by building upon data and materials that were generated in a similar study on FOLR1 positive leukemia. If everything moves forward as hypothesized, we will see the synergy of a multi-institutional effort turn into a new and hopeful clinical trial.