iCureASPS Sponsors Studies on Halofuginone, a Possible Therapy for Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma

iCureASPS has recently sent funds to sponsor an original research, which is carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Pines at the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel. Halofuginone is an analog of the molecule febrifugine. Febrifugine is the active component in the extract from the roots of the Chinese herb chang shan (Dichroa febrifuga), which has been used as malaria therapy in Chinese traditional medicine for more than 2,000 years. In recent years, Halofuginone was used as a drug in the poultry industry to treat Coccidiosis (a parasitic disease) in chickens. Dr. Pines found that Halofuginone is a very efficient inhibitor of type I collagen synthesis. Then he found that Halofuginone is also a strong inhibitor of tumor progression.

While efforts are made in few medical centers to develop a convenient ASPS model system, there is currently no ASPS cell line or an animal model for studying mechanisms of drug therapy on ASPS. Therefore, for his initial research on ASPS, Dr. Mark Pines performed studies on: (1) tumor samples that were donated by ASPS patients and (2) on a renal (kidney) tumor cell line derived from a patient, which contains the same genetic translocation as ASPS (ASPL-TFE3).

iCureASPS is very proud to be a supporter of Dr. Mark Pines in his efforts to understand the oncogenic nature of ASPS and in his efforts to develop a novel therapy for this disease.

Additional resources on Halofuginone (click on the links to learn more):

    Halofuginone – U.S. National Institutes of Health: 

  1. Halofuginone Hydrobromide in treating patients with progressive advanced solid tumors
  2. Topical Halofuginone Hydrobromide in treating patients with HIV-Related Kaposi’s Sarcoma
  3. Halofuginone – other resources:

  4. Inhibition of fibroblast to myofibroblast transition by halofuginone contributes to the chemotherapy-mediated antitumoral effect
  5. Halofuginone receives FDA orphan drug status for Scleroderma
  6. Halofuginone to treat fibrosis in chronic graft-versus-host disease and scleroderma


Yosef Landesman, Ph.D.
President & Cancer Research Director
Cure Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma International (iCureASPS)