A study to see if it is possible to use a blood test to monitor people with sarcoma

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Bone cancer
Soft tissue sarcoma





This study is looking at DNA in blood samples of people who have sarcoma. The people taking part in this study have a soft tissue sarcoma or a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma.

Cancers are made up of cells that grow and multiply quickly.  Cancer cells do this because they have gathered a number of mistakes in their DNA, the instruction manual for building the body and keeping it healthy. Scientists call these mistakes ‘mutations’.  They make the DNA look different to healthy DNA and give the DNA an individual look, or ‘signature’ when they are studied in the laboratory.

Small numbers of cancer cells, all with this signature, move into the blood constantly.  So, finding DNA with the signature in the blood shows that there is cancer in the body. Researchers in this study want to identify gene signatures that will be unique to each patient, and to monitor this in their blood.

The aim of this study is to see if it is possible to use a blood test to monitor people with cancer, by looking at the faulty tumour DNA signature in the blood.  In future, doctors may be able to use a blood test to spot when cancer has come back, or see how well a tumour is responding to treatment.

You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this study, and it is unlikely to change your treatment plan in any way.  But the results of the study will be used to help people with cancer in the future.

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this study if you

  • Are being cared for at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, or at University College Hospital, London
  • Have osteosarcoma that has been confirmed with a biopsy, and you are due to have chemotherapy before surgery or have a sarcoma that has been confirmed with a biopsy and you are not due to have chemotherapy

You cannot enter this study if you

  • Have any other cancer apart from a sarcoma
  • Have any mental health condition that would make if difficult for you to understand what the study is about and what it will involve
  • Have Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV
  • Have any condition or test result that could affect the results of the study – you can check this with your doctor
  • Are under 4 years of age

Trial design

This study will recruit 200 people.

Everyone will give permission for the team to study a small piece of stored cancer tissue (biopsy) they had removed when their sarcoma was diagnosed. You also give permission for the team to study your X-rays, scans and medical notes.

You give a sample of blood

  • Before and after your surgery
  • Several times during chemotherapy, if you have it
  • At some of the follow up hospital visits you make after you finish treatment, for up to 5 years

The team will look at your cancer sample to find the gene changes (mutations) it carries.  They will then look to see if they can find these changes in your blood samples.  Please note, because these samples are for research rather than a part of your treatment plan, the team will not tell you any results from them.

Hospital visits

You will give your study blood samples when you are at the hospital for a planned routine appointment.  So you will not need to make any extra visits to take part in this study.

Side effects

You will not have any side effects as a result of taking part in this study.

We have more information about treatment for soft tissue sarcoma and treatment for the bone cancer osteosarcoma.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Adrienne Flanagan

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
SCAT-Bone Cancer Trust
The London Sarcoma Service
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 7667

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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