News in the world of soft tissue sarcoma research

Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) research is continuing and experts and doctors are focusing on new prevention studies and treatment methods. An update by the American Cancer Society* recently caught our eye, so we thought we’d share some highlights of the new information that they released.

First off, scientists have made advancements in interpreting how alterations in DNA of soft tissue cells can cause sarcoma to develop. This is significant news because doctors are using this data to diagnose and classify sarcomas – and precise classification allows doctors to choose the most effective treatment. According to ACS, “It is hoped that this information will soon lead to new strategies for treating these cancers, based on specific differences between normal and malignant soft tissue cells.”

New research has led to the conclusion that several types of STS can look alike when studied under a microscope.  By employing new lab techniques, researchers learned that most cancers that were previously “called malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) are actually high-grade forms of leiomyosarcoma, liposarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, other sarcomas, and even carcinomas or lymphomas.”

In new STS treatment news there is a new drug called trabectedin (Yondelis®) approved in Europe. It has been shown to help some STS patients. Tests in the US on trabectedin (Yondelis®) are still under way and at the time of this blog post it is only accessible to patients as part of a clinical trial.

Another treatment update is that there is quite a bit of new research into what are known as “targeted drugs.” These are drugs that precisely obstruct molecules in the cancer cells that instigate the cancers to grow.

Please visit this link to follow updates on STS research. Thank you to the ACS for sharing this data and for your continued commitment to sarcoma research and awareness.

* Article was last revised: 01/17/2013 and last medical review:10/02/2012

Please note this is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health professional.




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