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Soft tissue sarcomas

Erik Wiemer

The molecular characterization of soft tissue sarcomas.

Soft tissue sarcomas comprise a very heterogeneous group of relatively rare tumors of mesenchymal origin. In the context of an EU network of excellence we are involved in the molecular characterization of various kinds of soft tissue sarcomas notably liposarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, angiosarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). In particular microRNA and kinome profiling are used to characterize the above mentioned sarcomas. The ultimate goal is to obtain more insight into the biology of these tumors and to identify novel drug targets leading to new therapies.


  • EU  6th framework: Connective tissue cancers network to integrate european experience in adult and children (CONTICANET) 2005 – 2011
  • Conticanet website: http://www.conticanet.eu


  • Philipp Ströbel, Ruprecht-Karl University Heidelberg & Univ. Medicine Mannheim, Germany
  • Frederique Chibon, Jean-Michel Coindre, Inst. Bergonié, Bordeaux, France
  • Maria Debiec-Rychter, Agnieszka Wozniak, Patrick Schöffski, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium

Selected References

  • Sleijfer, S., Wiemer, E.A.C., and Verweij, J. Gastro-intestinal stromal tumors (GIST): the solid tumor model for cancer specific treatment. Nature Clin. Pract. Oncology 5:102-11, 2008.
  • Sleijfer, S., Wiemer, E., and Verweij, J. Improved insight in resistance mechanisms to imatinib in GIST: the mainstay for novel approaches and individualisation of treatment. The Oncologist 12:719-26, 2007.
  • Sleijfer, S.,  Seynaeve, C., Wiemer, E. and Verweij, J. Practical aspects of managing gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Clin. Colorectal Cancer. 6:S18-23, 2006.
  • Burger, H., den Bakker, M.A., Kros, J.M., van Tol, H., de Bruin, A.M., Oosterhuis, J.W., van den Ingh, H.F.G.M., van der Harst, E., de Schipper, H.P., Wiemer, E.A.C. and Nooter, K. Activating mutations in c-KIT and PDGFRα are exclusively found in gastrointestinal stromal tumors and not in other tumors overexpressing these imatinib mesylate target genes.  Cancer Biol. & Ther. 4:1270-74, 2005.