Dr Federica Grosso, Sarcoma Unit, Instituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy, and colleagues in sarcoma centres in Boston, London, Lyon and Paris, did a retrospective study of the effect of trabectedin (derived from Ecteinascidia Turbinata) on patients with advanced pre-treated myxoid liposarcomas, a subtype of the liposarcoma group of cancers associated with specific chromosomal mutations.
They found that of 51 patients with myxoid liposarcomas given trabectedin as part of a compassionate-use programme, two saw their tumours disappear completely (complete response) while a further 24 saw the longest diameter of their tumour shrink by at least 30% (partial response), representing an overall response rate of 51%. Previous studies of trabectedin have shown response rates no higher than 20%. Of these 26 patients that responded, 23 had undergone radiological review of their tumours. The authors showed 17 of these 23 had also experienced reduced tumour density prior to the shrinkage or disappearance of their tumour.
In addition, the progression free-survival rate at six months was 88%, whereas previous studies in all soft tissue sarcomas have placed this figure closer to 20%. Median progression-free survival was 14 months.
The authors say: “If the results of this analysis are reproduced in ongoing prospective studies, myxoid sarcoma would represent a uniquely sensitive subgroup to trabectedin treatment in the heterogeneous family of soft-tissue sarcoma.”
Surgical removal is the mainstay of current treatment regimens for soft-tissue sarcoma, but despite this around half of patients develop distant metastases (secondary tumours) and die. Certain drugs, such as anthracyclines and ifosfamide, have shown response rates of 20-40%, but new drugs are needed.
The authors say that a compassionate-use programme of trabectedin treatment remains ongoing. They conclude: “This analysis has resulted in the initiation of two prospective studies to assess the role of trabectedin in the treatment of myxoid liposarcoma in the pre-operative and metastatic settings. Furthermore, the selective mechanism of action for trabectedin in this translocation-related sarcoma is being studied.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences