Ann Arbor, Mich. (PRWEB) July 24, 2013
A national group of physicians and scientists who study sarcoma has opened a biospecimen bank to help research this rare cancer, the Sarcoma Alliance announced Wednesday.
SARC created the bank three years ago, and its staff and volunteers have talked to researchers about it, said President Denise Reinke, a nurse practitioner who also has an MS and MBA. Because the number of sarcoma researchers is relatively small, she said, SARC has never made a public statement about the bank before.
“We’ve never really advertised it or announced that we’re open for business,” she said, but she welcomes researchers to contact SARC if they have a specific study in mind. The nonprofit brings together physicians from different institutions to collaborate on clinical trials.
“We have been able to work together to make a difference for sarcoma patients,” said Reinke from her office in Ann Arbor, Mich.
There are more than 50 subtypes of sarcoma, a cancer of bone, muscle, nerve, fat and other connective tissues. It can arise anywhere in the body at any age, from newborn on up. It represents 15 percent of all childhood cancer cases and 1 percent of adult cancers, said Suzie Siegel of Tampa, a leiomyosarcoma survivor with the Sarcoma Alliance.
The Alliance was founded in 1999 in Mill Valley, Calif., to provide information and support to people affected by sarcoma. Siegel said it is sometimes confused with SARC, which stands for the Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration. Both are nonprofits.
Since its founding 10 years ago, SARC has run 20 clinical trials across the country, Reinke said, and has collected thousands of biospecimens. “We’ve even got samples from the first trial.”
Tissue is saved frozen, in paraff
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