OU Health Hematologist-Oncologist Receives Award to Study Rare Type of Sarcoma

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OU Health Hematologist-Oncologist Receives Award to Study Rare Type of Sarcoma

Abdul Rafeh Naqash, M.D., a hematologist-oncologist with OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, has been granted an Impact Award from the Hope Foundation for Cancer Research. The foundation is part of the SWOG (Southwest Oncology Group) Cancer Research Network.

Naqash will use the award to study alveolar soft part sarcoma, a cancer that can come from different types of soft tissue, such as muscle, fat or nerves. It is a rare and deadly disease with limited treatment options, and it primarily affects younger patients. Naqash previously helped to lead a phase 2 clinical trial testing a treatment for alveolar soft part sarcoma when he was a fellow at the National Cancer Institute. The new award will further his work on one of the rarest types of sarcoma.

“There is an unmet need regarding research into alveolar soft part sarcoma,” he said. “We will be looking at tumor samples and clinical data and will eventually try to develop novel therapies for patients with this type of sarcoma.”

This is the first time a researcher on the campus of the OU Health Sciences Center has received an Impact Award from the Hope Foundation. It is a competitive award given twice a year to researchers leading projects that involve scientific risk but that may result in significant breakthroughs in cancer research.

“We hope this work leads to future clinical trials at Stephenson Cancer Center in this area,” said Naqash, who is also an assistant professor hematology/oncology in the OU College of Medicine.

For more information about Naqash’s research, visit www.ouhealth.com and search his name under “Find a Doctor.”