9/30 Tyler Trent

Tyler Trent is followed by a documentary photographer at the Purdue-Northwestern game in August. Trent passed away on New Year’s Day.

Tyler Trent's legacy lives on through his donations to the field of cancer research.

The Purdue Center for Cancer research said in a press release it will begin three new research initiatives to improve treatment for osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that Trent, who died Jan. 1 at the age of 20, battled for several years.

One of the initiatives will use Trent's cancer cells, which he donated before his death.

David Nolte, a professor of physics and astronomy, and John Turek, a professor of basic medical sciences, will study Trent’s cells to measure motion. They will be working with people from Riley Hospital for Children to identify sensitivity to osteosarcoma chemotherapy.

Another of the new research initiatives has developed a technology which collects a patient's T cells and genetically modifies them to destroy cancer cells. The technology is set to go on trial this summer, according to the release.

Tyler Trent, a former sports writer for the Exponent, inspired many with his grace in his fight with cancer.

“Part of Tyler’s incredible lasting legacy is that he will help current and future patients,” said Tim Ratliff, a professor of comparative pathobiology and the Director of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. “Our focus is on moving treatments forward so they reach those in need.”

Trent’s donated cells will be tested using biodynamic imaging. Nolte and Turek will study Trent’s cells to measure motion. They are working in coordination with Drs. Jamie Renbarger and Karen Pollok from Riley Hospital for Children to identify osteosarcoma chemotherapy sensitivity.

The second new research initiative also involves biodynamic imaging. Nolte, Turek and Michael Childress, an associate professor of comparative oncology in Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine, are working on using biodynamic imaging to identify chemosensitivity in canine osteosarcoma. It is quite similar to its human counterpart, so canine osteosarcoma can be tested with the same chemotherapeutic agents to help find better treatments.

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