October 28, 2021

V Foundation to support study of pediatric soft tissue sarcoma


by Tom Wilemon

The V Foundation for Cancer Research has awarded a $600,000 grant to Scott Hiebert, PhD, professor of Biochemistry and Medicine, to pursue a possible precision therapy for a type of sarcoma that predominantly affects children.

Scott Hiebert, PhD

Hiebert, the Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, will develop a precision therapy for PAX3-FOX01-dependent rhabdomyosarcoma.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children. He and colleagues in his research lab have been researching the mechanisms of how the PAX3-FOX01 fusion gene causes alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

Their preliminary data indicate the fusion transcription factor is required to coordinate enhancer activity at specific targets in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cells.

“Transcription factors like PAX3-FOXO1 are very hard to inhibit with drugs, so this grant will allow us to test if targeting the enzymes that PAX3-FOXO1 uses to control gene expression can be used as drug targets,” said Hiebert.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and NCAA basketball coach Jim Valvano with one goal in mind: to achieve Victory Over Cancer.

The foundation accelerates breakthroughs in cancer research by funding bold, cutting-edge programs. Since its formation in 1993, the V Foundation has awarded more than $260 million in cancer research grants nationwide.