When we talk of cancers, more common ones like lung, breast, or oral cancers are mentioned first. Some rare cancers like sarcoma are not regularly discussed. Sarcoma is the cancer of connective tissue and is primarily of two types – bone cancer, called as osteosarcoma and soft tissue cancers that can be of different types. It is observed that the more commonly occurring cancers often get more attention in terms of research, diagnosis and treatment, resulting in increased research activities internationally. Treatment for sarcoma’s should include an international second opinion as latest research is carried out either in USA, UK or Germany.
Sarcomas are different from lung, bladder or liver cancers as they occur in glandular tissues whereas sarcoma is the cancer of connective tissues. These cancers are often slow progressing and tend to cause pain in the bones or muscles based on what they affect.
People tend to discover sarcomas accidentally and late. This delayed diagnosis can affect the prognosis of the condition as well. Due to this, it was thought that sarcomas are not treatable cancers. However, sarcoma is could be a curable cancer due to the various studies that are being conducted in these types of cancers. There are new treatment options, including innovative drugs that are now being made available.
In the past, the drugs that were used – Ifosfamide and doxorubicin, did not work but were given to all sarcoma patients without distinguishing the type of sarcoma. However, there are new drugs on the block that have been found to be more effective in treating sarcomas. Some drugs like olaratumab have been recently developed and are targeted drugs for sarcoma. This drug prevents the cancer cells from growing. While most drugs until olaratumab were second-line drugs, this drug is being used as a front-line drug.
Sarcoma can be completely removed using surgical resection, followed by chemotherapy and newly discovered targeted drugs.The newer advances in the treatment of sacromas are in the pipeline and never before has there been so much research being done in this domain. Scientists are now developing new treatment protocols by studying the various biochemical processes that occur in different sarcomas, the various subtypes and clinical profiling of the patients and devising drugs to target each subtype of the cancer and profile of the patient.
With newer research, clinical trials, personalised and targeted medicine, there is a hope of better treatment options for sarcoma patients.