HEROES-AYA - A research project of the National Decade Against Cancer.

The acronym HEROES-AYA stands for: Heterogeneity, evolution and resistance of sarcomas driven by fusion genes in adolescents and young adults.


In HEROES-AYA, scientists, doctors and patients are working together to investigate tumor heterogeneity using the example of bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Through the combined use of multi-omics methods, digital pathology and imaging techniques, the researchers aim to gain insights into the development of resistance and develop ways to overcome it.



Fusion-driven sarcomas occur particularly frequently in adolescents and young adults and often develop resistance to initially effective drugs as the disease progresses. There has been no improvement in the survival rate for decades. The team is therefore looking into the question of what makes these tumors resistant to therapy and why drugs lose their effectiveness, even if they initially worked well.



The interdisciplinary consortium is made up of scientists and doctors from eight German locations, representing various specialist areas such as oncology, pathology, orthopaedics, surgery, pediatrics, molecular biology, bioninformatics and others.




Patient representatives from the German Sarcoma Foundation will be involved in the work of the consortium in an advisory capacity so that the views of those affected and their experiences with the disease in everyday life are incorporated into the research from the outset. They will also help to create patient-oriented information for the planned clinical studies.

Patient participation