Bradley Bernstein, M.D., Ph.D. and John Mullen, M.D.
Support for the Liposarcoma Genome Project was funded by
Alex Gould and Friends in memory of Kathryn Gould.
Liposarcoma Genome Project –
Liposarcoma is the most common type of cancer that arises in soft tissue. These tumors often present as low grade tumors initially, but a subset of patients will experience recurrence of a higher grade tumor. Those patients who recur with higher grade tumors do poorly. Therefore, our research focuses on understanding these high grade tumors. We will explore the genetic changes between the low grade and high grade tumors in order to understand the molecular features that underlie high grade transformation. We will begin by sequencing gene mutations in these tumors and surveying gene activity in each tumor type (Aim 1). Mechanisms that govern which genes are on and off frequently involve how the DNA is packaged and structurally arranged in the cell. Therefore, we will characterize the packaging (chromatin) and structure (topology) of the genomic DNA in these tumors (Aim 2). By elucidating mechanisms by which tumor cells alter gene expression, we will better understand the genes and pathways that sustain them. Finally, we will develop models of these tumors (Aim 3). We can use these models to test driver genes and candidate therapeutic targets identified in our study. We believe that our interdisciplinary team of clinicians and scientists is poised to complete the proposed aims, which should yield important insights into liposarcoma biology and guide future clinical strategies.