John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


New trends in soft tissue sarcomas Volume 89, issue 1, Janvier 2002


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Institut Bergonié, Centre régional de lutte contre le cancer, 229, cours de l'Argonne, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex.

Important refinements have taken place in the diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma with extensive use of immuno-histochemistry. New entities have been described, while malignant histiocytofibroma, the most diagnosed sarcoma type during the last two decades, has been dismembered. As for prognosis, the new UICC classification is effectively more discriminating in the definition of prognostic groups; but the usefullness of new biological or genetic markers remains to be assessed. Several breakthrough have taken place in the last years in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma. Isolated limb perfusion with TNF, hyperthermia and melphalan have proven its efficacy, and is now an alternative to preoperative chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy for limb sparing treatment of the primary tumor site or to amputation. For systemic treatments, novel cytostatic drugs have been shown to be active in sarcomas, including ecteinascidine (ET743) and Glivec (STI571). This last drug has been shown to be remarkably active in c-kit+ stromal sarcoma of the gastro-intestinal tract. It can hopefully regarded as an example for targeted therapies, which may come with a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms triggered by the fundamental, specific genetic alterations shown in sarcoma.