Achieving the Best Sarcoma Outcomes

Achieving the best outcomes with sarcomas was addressed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

Dr. Angela Hirbe, assistant professor of medical oncology at Washington University School of Medicine, spoke first, and said, “We know the best sarcoma outcomes are achieved by multidisciplinary teams.”

Dr. Brian Van Tine, Sarcoma Program Director, Siteman Cancer Center, said there are about 40 sarcoma doctors in the United States and they meet once a year to talk about what’s coming and what’s working. “We’ve dedicated our lives to doing something about these poor outcomes compared to other cancers. It is a world-wide community of sarcoma doctors that is still quite small. It’s a tight community.”

He added that in-house clinical trials are investigator-initiated. Dr. Van Tine, for example, would use institutional funds for an in-house clinical trial, so he would be limited in what he can do.

A lot of clinical trials have interim times to see if a trial is helpful or not. Then if not shown effective, the trial is stopped. If the results look promising, the trial continues.

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