Role of New Chemotherapy Agents in Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Medical management of soft tissue sarcomas (STS) has been restricted by the limited availability of active drugs. A plethora of new oncologic agents are now available, many of which have specific therapeutic targets. Gemcitabine and docetaxel is a combination of drugs that have limited single-agent activity. Yondelis, a novel chemotherapeutic that binds DNA and functions partially by inhibiting transcription, is being tested alone and in combination with doxorubicin. Inhibitors of mTOR, a serine/threonine kinase that regulates cell cycle activation and cell growth, are also being tested. Growth factor receptor inhibitors are being evaluated in a variety of sarcomas that have been found to express the targets. In addition, a variety of agents are being assessed in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Single agents and agents combined with imatinib are being tested in imatinib-refractory and in metastatic GIST. The increased use of targeted agents underscores the need for understanding sarcoma biology.

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Correspondence: Margaret von Mehren, MD, Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111-2497. E-mail: margaret.vonmehren@fccc.edu
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