Ongoing support from the Kristen Ann Carr Fund (KACF) to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) is funding critical research in the laboratory of Aimee Crago, MD, PhD, a surgeon specializing in soft tissue sarcomas.

Surgical removal of well- and de-differentiated liposarcomas is almost universally followed by an aggressive recurrence of these cancers. Systemic treatments, such as chemotherapy, offer only limited benefits. Dr. Crago’s research centers on defining the genomic events that drive these sarcomas to return—because understanding them helps advance development of precise treatments that target their cellular pathways.

The Crago Laboratory has made stellar progress—several lab fellows received personal awards that led to successful applications for new Crago Laboratory grants. Among the highlights fostered by KACF: the examination of TAB2, a protein that is over-produced in liposarcomas, by fellow Alexander Lofthus, MD. Dr. Lofthus demonstrated how TAB2 may modulate pathways in liposarcomas via activation of the enzyme JUN kinase. His work has unveiled a vulnerability—and a possible target for treatments that inhibit this kinase and bring longer, better lives to people with liposarcomas.