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Clinical Studies

Collection of Tissue and Blood Specimens and Clinical Data from Subjects with Malignant and Benign Tumors

This study that aims to collect, catalogue, and store biological specimens, such as blood, tumor tissue, and bone marrow (if possible), from patients with a primary sarcoma or benign musculoskeletal tumor for future research. This bank currently has over 1,000 samples. Whole genome analysis or other sequencing analysis may be performed on the DNA samples. Genes may be analyzed and used by researchers to study links to a variety of cancers.

The Molecular Expression of Human Metastasis

The goal of this study is to evaluate the gene expression profiles of human metastatic disease and circulating tumor cells.  The main reason to perform this study is to gain much needed information as to the nature of human metastases. Similar to the aforementioned study, this bank collects blood, tumor tissue, and bone marrow (if possible) from patients with metastatic disease to the bone. Potential study procedures to be conducted on these specimen include RNA extraction, RNA analysis, protein analysis, and creation of tissue arrays.

Collection and Storage of Dorsal Root Ganglia (DRG)

The goal of this study is to collect and store DRG tissue samples and their nerve roots from patients with spinal tumors to be used for research in Dr. David Ginty’s lab at Harvard, which seeks to create a transcriptional map of human DRG. Primary malignant spinal tumors, benign spinal tumors, and spinal tumors due to metastatic disease will be collected. The main reason for the Ginty Lab’s study is to gain much needed information on somatosensory neuronal subtypes in humans, which will allow pharmacological drug targets to be further investigated. The Ginty Lab plans to use RNA scope first to probe these DRG samples for general markers that outline the major sensory neuron populations that are functionally distinct in the mouse. In parallel, they will perform single cell RNA sequencing to create a transcriptional map of human DRG. They will compare the transcriptomic data from single cell RNA sequencing and RNA scope of these human sensory neurons to mice in order to identify targets for drug development.

Sacral Tumor Multi-Site Data Repository

Using patient questionnaires, this data repository collects outcome and quality of life data from patients who have or have had a sacral tumor. Data is collected pre- and post-operatively. The data collected will give a better prediction of future outcomes and will facilitate understandable information for patients on what to expect after an operation for a sacral tumor.