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UCL team recognised for cutting-edge research into bone cancer

A team led by Professor Adrienne Flanagan from UCL has won the 2011 Jeremy Jass Prize for Research Excellence in Pathology.

The award, made by the Journal of Pathology, was for a paper on BRC-supported research into a genetic mutation present in approximately half of all types of chondrosarcomas (the second most common primary cancer of bone cancer).

Professor Flanagan and her colleagues received the award for their paper ‘IDH1 and IDH2 mutations are frequent events in central chondrosarcoma and central and periosteal chondromas but not in other mesenchymal tumours’ Journal of Pathology 2011; 224: 334–343. Their research was carried out in the personalised medicine lab.

This breakthrough offers the potential for the development of more customised treatment with drugs that target tumours which carry this particular mutation, and it is hoped that new treatments will  improve clinical outcome for these patients.  The presence of the IDH1 mutations also acts as a biomarker and allows pathologists to distinguish chondrosarcoma from osteosarcoma which can on occasions be difficult when making a diagnosis under the microscope: the treatment for these two tumour types is substantially different, so making the correct diagnosis is crucial.

This is the fourth such award to commemorate the service and achievement of the late Jeremy Jass, an influential gastrointestinal pathologist with an international reputation.

The selection process was carried out by the associate editors of the journal based on scientific excellence.

The prize was awarded in Utrecht, Netherlands, at the winter meeting of the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland on 6 January 2013 and was accepted on behalf of the team by Dr Fernanda Amary, Consultant Histopathologist at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital NHS Trust and a senior lecturer at UCL.