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
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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