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Office Location:
Hillman Cancer Center
Research Pavilion, Suite G.17

Mailing address:
5117 Centre Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Phone: 412-623-5870

Brenda Atoo

Other Affiliations:
Hillman Cancer Center (Cancer Therapeutics Program)


Anette Duensing, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Research Interests

The Duensing Lab is a translational sarcoma research lab with the goal of identifying new therapeutic targets and therapies for bone and soft tissue sarcomas and bringing our lab findings into clinical practice for sarcoma patients. Many of our projects seek to “repurpose” drugs that are already FDA-approved for other cancers to expedite the process for sarcoma patients. We are specifically interested in

  1. exploiting cellular pathways that are molecular drivers of sarcoma formation or that mediate the effect of sarcoma treatments as a basis for finding new therapeutic targets, especially for drug resistant tumors.
  2. targeting cells that are NOT killed by treatment, because these quiescent cells can contribute to therapy resistance and recurrence.
  3. testing whether aberrations in DNA damage and repair mechanisms in sarcoma cells can sensitize to specific treatment strategies.
  4. We are also investigating cognitive impairment (“chemo brain”) after long-term sarcoma treatment, especially treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

The Duensing Lab focuses on chondrosarcomas (bone sarcomas that arise from cartilage) as well as gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and leiomyosarcomas (LMS), both sarcomas of soft tissue.

Technique Expertise or Resources to share

Cell viability and apoptosis assays, drug screens, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, Vectra multiplex immunofluorescence, DNA/RNA extraction from paraffin with prior microdissection, primary sarcoma cell lines (chondrosarcoma, GIST, LMS).


Chondrosarcoma, cartilage, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, GIST, leiomyosarcoma, LMS, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, imatinib mesylate, Gleevec, transcription, signal transduction, chromatin, histone H2AX, proteasome inhibitors, bortezomib, targeted therapy, KIT, IDH1/2, retinoic acid, DNA damage and repair

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0168-4067


Lab website:


Lab Members

Angela Sun, MS Research Assistant