Katalina Baehring with Dr. Yolonda Colson (MGH)
The primary cause of treatment failure following resection of soft tissue sarcoma is locoregional recurrence (LRR). The reported 5-year LRR rates range from around 20% to 60%, and death is typically a direct result of LRR of the disease as opposed to distant metastases. While there are several treatment options for patients following surgical resection of sarcoma, there is a critical need to improve existing and generate new treatment strategies to better prevent LRR of sarcoma. The Colson lab has designed an implantable biocompatible polymer film loaded with paclitaxel and is investigating it as a local drug delivery method to prevent LRR after surgical resection in vivo. We hypothesize that the paclitaxel polymer film will achieve significant higher drug levels in local tissues in a sustained release fashion, thus effectively prevent LRR while minimizing systemic side-effects caused by traditional intravenous treatment. For this project, we will begin by surgically implanting liposarcoma tissue into the mice, a patient derived xenograft model of sarcoma. We will monitor them daily to assess health and primary tumor growth. Once the tumors have grown to the appropriate size, the mice will undergo macroscopic disease-free resection and will randomly receive one of four treatments: a paclitaxel film, an unloaded film, surgery alone, or intravenous delivery of paclitaxel. After surgery, the mice will be monitored for tumor recurrence and overall survival. This treatment approach, if successful, will demonstrate a promising direction for administering locoregional therapy directed at the disease-affected margins or areas following surgical removal of sarcomas.