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Andrew Wagner

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.

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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.

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Presenters: James E. Bachman, Kim Slusser, Thomas K. Varghese, Andrew Wagner, and moderated by Timothy Kubal

A panel of experts in healthcare administration and delivery convened virtually during the NCCN 2021 Virtual Annual Conference to discuss the effects of the pandemic on cancer care and what the future may hold. The discussion ranged from the effects of the pandemic on screening and the implications of missing early cancers to the challenges of telemedicine, the future delivery of more in-home services, and burnout among healthcare workers as hospitals and cancer centers work to rebuild for the future.