The Molecular Basis of Sarcoma

Publishing date
15 Mar 2011
Submission deadline
15 Sep 2010

Guest Editors

1Center for Children's Cancer Research, Huntsman Cancer Institute, 2000 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA

2Children's Cancer Research Institute, St. Anna Kinderspital, Vienna, Austria

3Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, OH, USA

The Molecular Basis of Sarcoma


The sarcoma field is at a crossroads. There have been incredible advances in the identification and characterization of key genetic events associated with sarcoma development. For example, many chromosomal translocation breakpoints have been cloned, and the fusion proteins associated with those breakpoints have been subjected to rigorous molecular analysis. Similarly, there has been an explosion of molecularly targeted agents available for the treatment of patients with cancer. In cases where these targeted agents inhibit a key abnormality in sarcoma, such as activated KIT in gastrointestinal stromal tumor, they have been quite successful. Unfortunately, examples of such success are still limited. Many investigators in the field have hoped that deeper understanding of the molecular basis of sarcoma may lead to new therapeutic opportunities for this varied set of diseases.

The focus of this special issue will be to highlight recent advances in the understanding of the molecular basis of sarcoma, with a goal of providing a strong foundation for investigators to consider these data during the development of new therapeutic approaches. Reviews that summarize topics in particular sarcomas, or that span multiple sarcoma subtypes, will be welcome. Furthermore, reviews that focus on current research advances are particularly encouraged. Main topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Fusion proteins and their function in sarcoma
  • Recurrent activating and inactivating mutations in sarcoma
  • The genetic basis of sarcoma, even if the key mutation has not yet been identified
  • Abnormalities in signaling pathways in sarcoma
  • Abnormalities in cell cycle, differentiation, and/or cell death in sarcoma
  • Advances in animal models that provide new understanding in sarcoma development
  • Transcriptional effects, micro-RNAs, and other noncoding RNAs in sarcoma
  • The role of epigenetic alterations in sarcoma
  • Mechanisms of drug resistance in sarcoma

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