There are still very limited numbers of sarcoma treatments and no standard medical treatment methods are established. As a result, treatments are done patient by patient basis including local surgery and whole body chemotherapy using anticancer drug or molecular target drug.
Local treatments include removing tumors by surgery, radiation therapy to bones and other areas, RFA (radiofrequency ablation) to livers and lungs, Gamma Knife Radiosurgery to brains, cryotherapy to kidneys and lungs, heavy ion radiotherapy, and so on. Recently treatment choices are gradually increasing.
Some treatments like heavy ion radiotherapy, RFA treatment to lungs, and cryotherapy cannot be done under medical insurance.
Whole body treatments are selected when tumors are located in the areas where it is difficult to be removed by surgery, when recurrence and metastasis occured right after surgery, and when there are multiple metastases.
The most recent news is the introduction of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitor Pazopanib (Votrient). We have not had a new medicine for adult soft tissue sarcoma for a long time. Therefore a positive effect is highly expected. In addition to the existing treatments, it is possible to apply for a clinical trial of new medicines.
Based on each patient’s condition, local and whole body treatments may be used jointly. In some cases, chemotherapy is used as a complementary treatment after a surgery.
Although treatment choices are increasing, the number of sarcoma cases is still scarce and sarcoma tumors are classified into so many types. It is very difficult to choose the best medical treatment that fits each patient’s sarcoma. We really would like to have a standard sarcoma treatment guideline to be established and medical specialists to be trained as soon as possible.