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On Sunday, February 9th, Focus On Rhabdo announced a new initiative that should significantly speed up the search for a means to make rhabdomyosarcoma a universally survivable disease. This effort was initiated by the families of RMS cancer patients because many patients and their families are unaware of the need to donate RMS tissue for research.

Currently, the lack of research specimens is hindering the study of the disease. Living cancerous tissue is required to understand the underlying biochemical mechanisms that cause the cancer, and then to test new treatment protocols. Donating tissue directly to RMS researchers is a proactive way to further cure development. Correctly donated RMS tissue helps researchers find new and better treatments for patients suffering from the disease. This tissue must be donated in the correct manner to be useful in research efforts. The creation of high quality RMS tissue banks (also known as “biobanks”) is essential for the study of RMS such that a cure can be found. The FocusOnRhabdo (FoR) tissue donation program exists to enable rhabdo families to donate tissue samples to participating labs that can receive and process the sample for study.

If you can provide a tissue sample for research, it is essential to do so –
and notify other RMS families that tissue donation is an important
option during many surgical procedures. There are no costs incurred by
the family to donate these critical tissue samples.

See our Bio-Specimen Donation Initiative page for more details.