Count Me In - The Angiosarcoma Project: A Patient-Partnered Research Initiative to Accelerate Research in a Rare Sarcoma
The Angiosarcoma Project (ASCproject) is a research study that directly engages angiosarcoma patients online and empowers them to accelerate cancer research by sharing medical information and clinical samples. Angiosarcoma is an exceedingly rare soft tissue sarcoma with an incidence of ~300 newly diagnosed cases per year in the United States. This low incidence has impeded large-scale research efforts in this disease that are strongly needed to catalyze research and improve clinical outcomes. The Angiosarcoma Project, launched in March 2017, has demonstrated the feasibility of directly engaging geographically dispersed patients to democratize research and establish a large patient cohort to characterize the genomic and clinical landscape of a rare disease. Angiosarcoma patients living in the US or Canada can access the study and consent online through an online portal (ASCproject.org). Enrolled patients are mailed saliva and blood draw kits, which can be used to extract germline DNA and cell-free DNA (cfDNA), respectively. The study team contacts participants' healthcare institutions to obtain medical records and a portion of archived tumor samples. All received tumor samples are subjected to centralized histological re-review by an expert pathologist to confirm a diagnosis of angiosarcoma. Whole exome sequencing is performed on tumor DNA, germline DNA, and cfDNA; transcriptome sequencing is performed on tumor RNA. De-identified data, including linked genomic, clinical, and patient-reported data, are shared via public databases on a recurring pre-publication basis. Participants are regularly provided updates on the study.