May you thrive in 2017!
This past week’s blog wasn’t posted because I was sitting in the hospital with a painful gastric tube down my nose and no computer.
I remain free of evidence of cancer. I will blog about that in 2 weeks.
Two weeks ago I tried sending out the blog using a new browser and only half the blog emails were sent, so if yours didn’t arrive, please check “Achieving the Best Sarcoma Outcomes” https://thriversoup.com/2016/12/08/achieving-the-best-sarcoma-outcomes/. I always post when possible, and this week I will return to the original browser that usually sends the emails correctly.
Have warm and wonderful holy-days!
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.
Advances in LeioMmyoSarcoma surgery 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.
Jeffrey Moley, associate director of the Siteman Cancer Center, said LMS can occur anywhere in the body and has a 50 percent mortality rate. It most commonly is found in the extremities of the body. Nineteen percent of sarcomas are LMS. High-grade LMS has a greater than 50 percent chance of metastasizing; low-grade has a less than 15 percent chance.
Sarcomas are the only cancers that are graded.
During surgery, the doctors always try to get a negative margin. To avoid amputation, one good option is to do limb-sparing surgery followed by radiation. This decreases the chance of a local recurrence by 30 percent.
MRIs and CT scans give pretty much the same information to the doctors.
The definitive treatment is complete surgical resection.
For abdominal and retroperitoneal tumors, sometimes repeat operations can be very effective, especially for low-grade sarcomas.