Effective treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcomas remains challenging, despite more than 30 years of clinical trials with conventional chemotherapy. Although some agents display modest efficacy against soft tissue sarcomas, modifications in the doses and combinations of therapies have not consistently led to significant improvements in response rates or concomitant increase in overall survival. Novel therapies designed to inhibit defined molecular alterations, as exemplified by the use of imatinib in gastrointestinal stromal tumors, have revolutionized the approach to the treatment of sarcomas. As more underlying genetic mechanisms are uncovered, new agents designed to target these lesions will lead to more specific, less toxic, and more effective therapies.
David M. Thomas and Andrew J. Wagner
Connective tissue tumors comprise a rich array of subtypes, many of which possess strong pathognomonic phenotypes and genotypes of therapeutic significance. This article describes recent applications of targeted and nontargeted therapeutic agents in connective tissue tumors that illustrate important themes in drug development. Targeted therapy has exploited the paradigms of oncogene and lineage addiction. In other cases, potential targets are more difficult to classify, such as the role of the insulin-like growth factor 1 pathway in Ewing's sarcoma. Understanding why these pathways seem critical in some cancers, and in some individuals but not others, is important in identifying novel therapeutic opportunities in an age of personalized medicine.
William G. Wierda, John C. Byrd, Jeremy S. Abramson, Seema Bhat, Greg Bociek, Danielle Brander, Jennifer Brown, Asher Chanan-Khan, Steve E. Coutre, Randall S. Davis, Christopher D. Fletcher, Brian Hill, Brad S. Kahl, Manali Kamdar, Lawrence D. Kaplan, Nadia Khan, Thomas J. Kipps, Jeffrey Lancet, Shuo Ma, Sami Malek, Claudio Mosse, Mazyar Shadman, Tanya Siddiqi, Deborah Stephens, Nina Wagner, Andrew D. Zelenetz, Mary A. Dwyer and Hema Sundar
Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare type of indolent B-cell leukemia, characterized by symptoms of fatigue and weakness, organomegaly, pancytopenia, and recurrent opportunistic infections. Classic HCL should be considered a distinct clinical entity separate from HCLvariant (HCLv), which is associated with a more aggressive disease course and may not respond to standard HCL therapies. Somatic hypermutation in the IGHV gene is present in most patients with HCL. The BRAF V600E mutation has been reported in most patients with classic HCL but not in those with other B-cell leukemias or lymphomas. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish HCLv from classic HCL. This manuscript discusses the recommendations outlined in the NCCN Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of classic HCL.