Research case study/Newcastle University

Guiding sarcoma surgery

We are funding a research project, led by Dr Kenny Rankin, Consultant Orthopaedic Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University, to test the effectiveness (in laboratory conditions) of a new fluorescent dye to guide surgeons operating on sarcoma patients.

The dye, which is more specific than is currently available, is intended to provide surgeons with the ability to identify more precisely the bone, muscle and tissue that is directly impacted by a tumour. This enables the surgeons to remove only what is essential and reduce the musculoskeletal damage to the patient. The dye is added to an antibody, developed by James Knight (research group leader and lecturer in radiochemistry in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University), that binds it specifically to the affected cancer cells.

The project has performed well in a laboratory setting and the team is now in discussion with third parties about scaling up production of the antibody prior to its use in early-stage patient trials.

Dr Rankin says:

ORUK was the perfect partner for this project because it focuses on the treatment of people facing the most extreme musculoskeletal challenge – reducing the impact of orthopaedic surgery on sarcoma patients.

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