Sarcoma

Sarcomas are rare cancers of connective tissues such as bone, muscle, fat, peripheral nerves and soft tissues. They may arise anywhere in the body. While rare in the population as whole (less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States are sarcomas, over 10,000 cases), an overwhelming 55% of those sarcoma cases hit the 15-29 year-old age group. This is a young person's cancer. They are the fifth most frequently observed malignancy in adolescents and young adults. Many types of sarcoma are regarded as developmental tumors, ideally treated in a pediatric setting. For this reason Ted Mullin underwent treatment at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital and his family chose to establish the fund in his memory there.

Unlike most cancers, the sarcoma treatment success rate is not improving, especially in the adolescent and young adult population. On average this age group has gained very little from improved treatment and detection over the last thirty years. The rarity of sarcoma, the extensive variety of tumor types within it, the difficulty of recruiting adequate numbers of clinical subjects, the rarity of clinical trials, the relatively poor funding of sarcoma studies when compared with more common cancers—these factors contribute to the lack of knowledge concerning this important cancer type in adolescents and young adults.

Focused on an "orphan disease" among cancers, the Ted Mullin Fund aims to increase awareness of sarcoma and philanthropic support for research into its causes and treatment.