Stanford Cancer Institute

Behar Innovation Award in Sarcoma Research

March 2024

Everett Moding, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology (radiation therapy), was awarded a Behar Innovation Award in Sarcoma Research for his project, “High-resolution longitudinal analysis of sarcoma response to hypofractionated radiotherapy.” Moding is a physician scientist who treats sarcoma patients with radiation therapy and is also engaged in both basic and clinical research. His lab is focused on three main areas: the genetics underlying the response of tumors to radiation therapy, development of personalized treatment approaches for sarcomas, and tumor clonal evolution during cancer therapy.

Soft tissue sarcomas are rare tumors that grow from muscles, blood vessels, and other connective tissues throughout the body. Radiation is a critical treatment for soft tissue sarcomas and many other cancers, but why patients respond differently to radiation is not known. Specifically, we don’t yet understand why some cancer cells survive radiation and how the immune cells and the environment around tumors impact this process. With the support of the Behar Innovation Award in Sarcoma Research, Moding will study how sarcomas respond to radiation. He will focus on patients with soft tissue sarcoma who are enrolled in a clinical trial at Stanford and are being treated with a new shorter radiation regimen. As a first step, he will collect samples from these patients before, during, and after radiation treatment. He will then use a new technique to study gene expression in tumor and immune cells within these samples to understand the different cellular responses to radiation treatment and why some cells are resistant to radiotherapy.