A transgenic zebrafish model of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma was recently created that is molecularly similar to human disease and from which the cancer stem cell has been identified, a cell most similar to the normal muscle stem cell-the actived satellite cell. My hypothesis is that the RAS pathway is responsible for eliciting stem cell self-renewal programs in a subset of the RMS cell types, and that this in turn regulates tumor growth. Targeting downstream RAS pathways and self-renewal may provide a new way to curb sarcoma growth in patients affected with this devastating disease.
David Langenau, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital
Recipient of the: $25,000 research award, PharmaMar Research Award