News, Topics

RFL Activities

NPO Cure Sarcoma attended RFLs in Tokyo (Komazawa), Fukushima, Fukuoka and Ashiya. We plan to attend some other coming RFLs in Gumma, Kochi, etc.
Please join us if you have a chance.

Cure Sarcoma Chairman Visited a Member of the House of Councillors

Mr. Onishi, Chairman of NPO Cure Sarcoma visited Mr. Masaru Miyazaki, a Member of the House of Councillors, with two other members of rare cancer patients’ support groups (Ms. Umaue of Children’ Brain Tumor Support Group and Mr. Nishidate of GISTERS.)

Mr. Miyazaki is a rookie House Member from Komeito representing Saitama Prefecture. He requested this meeting because he wanted to learn more about rare cancers. We explained the current treatment status of rare cancers and adult soft tissue sarcoma.  We also submitted a petition to ask help for creating rare cancer treatment centers and adequate treatment systems, training medical specialists, and supporting basic clinical research on sarcomas.

A Member of the House of Councillors has a long 6-year-term. We hope our steady petition activities will be paid off.


Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today that the results of an additional analysis of a Phase III clinical study (Study 309) of its in-house discovered and developed anticancer agent Halaven® (eribulin mesylate, “eribulin”) in patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma) have been presented at a plenary session of the 14th Japanese Society of Medical Oncology (JSMO) Annual Meeting held in Kobe from July 28 to 30, 2016.

 Study 309 was a Phase III clinical study which examined the efficacy and safety of eribulin versus dacarbazine in 452 patients aged 18 years and older with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma) who had disease progression following standard therapies (including an anthracycline and at least one other additional regimen).

 According to the results of preplanned subgroup analyses of the duration of response in patients with liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma, median duration of response for the eribulin treatment was 12.5 months [95% CI: 1.7-Not Estimable] and median duration of response for dacarbazine treatment was 4.2 months [95% CI: 2.2-14.7].

Dr. Takahashi, Chairperson of the Board of Japan Sarcoma Association, visited Mr. Shiozaki, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare (August 1, 2016)

Dr. Takahashi, Chairperson of the Board of Japan Sarcoma Association and Department Director at Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases), made a visit to Mr. Shiozaki, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.
He explained the details of founding Japan Sarcoma Association and the planned activities including genome analysis. He also asked for the Minister’s further support on establishing proper treatment systems for sarcomas, which are the types of very rare cancers, and promoting genome analysis research.


Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced on February 29 that it had received approval in Japan for its in-house developed anticancer agent Halaven® (eribulin mesylate) as a treatment of patients with soft tissue sarcoma. Halaven is the first and only single agent to demonstrate an overall survival (OS) benefit in a Phase III trial in patients with advanced, recurrent or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma).

NPO Cure Sarcoma’s 3rd Ordinary General Meeting on March 6, 2016

NPO Cure Sarcoma’s third ordinary general meeting is to be held as follows:

Time: 1:30-4pm on March 6, 2016 (over-dinner gathering 4:30-6:30 pm) Place: Tokyo Shigoto Center B1 Auditorium Agenda: Part 1- General Meeting (Activity plan, budget, staffing, etc.) Part 2- Seminar and Information Sharing Meeting 1. Seminar by Dr. Takahashi (Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases) on the frontline of adult soft tissue sarcoma medical treatments 2. Information sharing by adult soft tissue sarcoma on their medical treatments

If you are interested in attending our general meeting, seminar, and over-dinner gathering, please contact us at by February 25.

Particle beam radiotherapy is to be used under national insurance from April 2016 for pediatric cancer and bone soft tissue tumor patients

Central Social Insurance Medical Council, an advisory body for Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare decided on January 20 to apply particle beam radiotherapy under national insurance coverage to the following patient therapies: ion bean radiotherapy for pediatric cancer and for bone soft tissue tumors in bones and muscles that are difficult to be operated by surgery. A therapy called “blood patch” for headaches caused by losing cerebrospinal fluid after automobile and other accidents is also to get national insurance coverage. Both procedures will begin from April 2016.

Particle beam radiotherapy is a treatment to attack cancer cells by using beams of energetic protons, neutrons, or positive ions for cancer treatment. It used to be assigned as an advance medical care and only the necessary medical examination and hospitalization costs were covered by national insurance. It costs three million yen if patients have to pay by themselves. The monetary burden for the patients will be significantly reduced by this insurance application.

Efficacy and Safety of Trabectedin or Dacarbazine for Metastatic Liposarcoma or Leiomyosarcoma

The following is an article appeared on the Journal of Clinical Oncology:

 Efficacy and Safety of Trabectedin or Dacarbazine for Metastatic Liposarcoma or Leiomyosarcoma After Failure of Conventional Chemotherapy: Results of a Phase III Randomized Multicenter Clinical Trial

 George D. Demetri, Margaret von Mehren, Robin L. Jones, Martee L. Hensley, Scott M. Schuetze, Arthur Staddon, Mohammed Milhem, Anthony Elias, Kristen Ganjoo, Hussein Tawbi, Brian A. Van Tine, Alexander Spira, Andrew Dean, Nushmia Z. Khokhar, Youn Choi Park, Roland E. Knoblauch, Trilok V. Parekh, Robert G. Maki and  Shreyaskumar R. Patel


Purpose This multicenter study, to our knowledge, is the first phase III trial to compare trabectedin versus dacarbazine in patients with advanced liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma after prior therapy with an anthracycline and at least one additional systemic regimen.

Patients and Methods Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive trabectedin or dacarbazine intravenously every 3 weeks. The primary end point was overall survival (OS), secondary end points were disease control—progression-free survival (PFS), time to progression, objective response rate, and duration of response—as well as safety and patient-reported symptom scoring.

Results A total of 518 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to either trabectedin (n = 345) or dacarbazine (n = 173). In the final analysis of PFS, trabectedin administration resulted in a 45% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death compared with dacarbazine (median PFS for trabectedin v dacarbazine, 4.2 v 1.5 months; hazard ratio, 0.55; P < .001); benefits were observed across all preplanned subgroup analyses. The interim analysis of OS (64% censored) demonstrated a 13% reduction in risk of death in the trabectedin arm compared with dacarbazine (median OS for trabectedin v dacarbazine, 12.4 v 12.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.87; P = .37). The safety profiles were consistent with the well-characterized toxicities of both agents, and the most common grade 3 to 4 adverse effects were myelosuppression and transient elevation of transaminases in the trabectedin arm.

Conclusion Trabectedin demonstrates superior disease control versus conventional dacarbazine in patients who have advanced liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma after they experience failure of prior chemotherapy. Because disease control in advanced sarcomas is a clinically relevant end point, this study supports the activity of trabectedin for patients with these malignancies.


Japan Sarcoma Association Symposium in Kyoto on December 3 & 4

A commemorative symposium of Japan Sarcoma Association is to be held in Kyoto on December 3 and 4.  NPO Cure Sarcoma supports this symposium.

If you would like to participate in this seminar, please send an application by November 16 to (e-mail) or 06-6981-3000 (fax).  Participants need to be a member of Cure Sarcoma Center with an annual membership fee of 15,000 yen. (Two people can attend the seminar.)

For the details, please see below:

Title of symposium:
Rare Cancer Sarcoma – Milestones for Conquering Sarcoma

Kyoto Heian Hotel 2F

December 3 (Thursday) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 Cutting Edge Lecture
 Educational Lecture
 Luncheon Seminar
 Symposium 1
 Symposium 2
 Poster Session/Patients advocacy/Exhibition
 Gala Dinner/Banquet (7,000 yen)
December 4 (Friday) 7:40 a.m. to 12 noon
 Morning Lecture
 Symposium 3

Novel Antitumor Agent “Yondelis® IV Infusion” Approved in Japan for Treatment of Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced on September 28 that it received marketing approval from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the novel antitumor agent Yondelis (nonproprietary name: trabectedin) 0.25 mg and 1 mg IV Infusion, for the treatment of patients with soft tissue sarcoma in Japan.

Yondelis is an antitumor agent developed by the Spanish company PharmaMar, S.A. It was originally isolated from the Caribbean ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata and is now produced through semi-synthesis. Taiho Pharmaceutical entered into a license agreement with PharmaMar in 2009 to develop and commercialize the drug in Japan, and has since been engaged in its development.