Study Tests Combination Treatment for Advanced Soft Tissue Sarcoma

According to a story from Hindawi, a recent study tested a combination treatment for patients with metastatic or locally advanced soft tissue sarcoma. Outcomes for these patients are poor if surgery is not an option. The treatment in question consisted of ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide (ICE) combined with regional hyperthermia. The goal of treatment was either to allow for surgical resection or stabilize the disease state. Overall, the study found that the treatment could be useful for some patients, but there were also high levels of toxicity and adverse events.

About Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcomas are a relatively rare form of cancer that is characterized by its tendency to develop in connective tissue. There are many different types of soft tissue sarcoma that can occur in many different materials of the body, such as muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, cartilage, peripheral nerves, lymph vessels, and blood vessels. Many soft tissue sarcomas are not associated with a definitive cause or risk factors, but some risk factors may include certain genetic disorders (such as neurofibromatosis), exposure to certain chemicals such as vinyl chloride, and radiation. These tumors often grow to considerable size before causing symptoms, which vary depending on the location. Pain in the affected area may appear as the tumor presses against other nerves, organs, or muscles. Treatment often includes surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. To learn more about soft tissue sarcoma, click here.

Study Results

A total of 110 patients with locally advanced (54 patients) or metastatic (56 patients) soft tissue sarcoma were evaluated in the study. The treatment was able to cause stable disease, or disease control, in 59 percent of patients with locally advanced disease and 47 percent of patients with metastases. 21 percent and 11 percent of patients respectively were able to achieve a “radiographic” response, an important indicator for surgery; ultimately, 7 and 9 percent of patients in these groups eventually became eligible for surgical resection.

Progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were also measured for these patients. Overall, patients with locally advanced soft tissue sarcoma fared better, with a median PFS of 10 months and median OS of 26 months. Meanwhile metastatic patients experienced a median PFS of only 4 months and median OS of 12.

While it is clear that this treatment regimen could result in improvements for patients, the resulting toxicity from the treatment was severe, with three treatment related deaths in the study. In addition, 25 percent of patients developed neutropenic fever as a result of the treatment. While the authors recommend future trials of this therapy, they recommend that the dose be reduced to 75 percent of the amount tested in this study.


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