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Ewing’s sarcoma, here is the therapy that works best

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Ewing’s sarcoma, here is the therapy that works best

A particular study, which allows us to compare the action of different drugs to understand which is the most effective. It is the one created by the European research group Euro Ewing Consortium and presented in Chicago at the American Society of Clinical Oncology congress by Martin McCabe, of the University of Manchester. The data show that for patients with recurrent or unresponsive Ewing’s sarcoma, compared to three other regimens usually used for this cancer, the best choice is a high-dose regimen of ifosfamide.

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A direct comparison

The rEECur study is the first to provide comparative toxicity and survival data between the four most common therapies and demonstrated that high doses of ifosfamide prolonged survival by 5.7 months compared to 3.7 months for topotecan plus cyclophosphamide. “The design of this study is very interesting because it allows you to abandon the treatments that work less in favor of those that instead give better results”, comments Emanuela Palmerini, oncologist at the IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli in Bologna where she deals with sarcomas. “It is a study in progress which also foresees the addition of new experimentation groups. Now we will evaluate the action of carboplatin and an etoposide, a DNA damaging agent. The goal is to find, thanks to direct comparison, the therapy that works best “.

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New types of sarcoma identified

Palmerini is in Chicago to present two studies on sarcoma that help to better define the characteristics of the different subtypes, some very rare, with the aim of being able to treat them better and better. The first defines the prevalence of so-called non-translocated Ewing’s sarcomas: “It is not simply a question of sarcomas where translocation is not present, which instead characterizes most cases. We discovered that these are different tumors, new if we want, ”explains Palmerini. The cataloging of these new forms – obtained thanks to the analysis of over 1,900 cases in the Rizzoli Institute archive – has complicated acronyms and very low numbers, but knowing that they are diseases with specific characteristics will help to find targeted solutions.

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Local treatments for osteosarcoma of the spine

The second study concerns another sarcoma that is very difficult to treat: osteosarcoma of the spine. “Thanks to the collaboration with Rizzoli’s vertebral oncological surgery, we have been able to study this rare form of tumor, most of the time excluded from the experiments precisely because of the difficulty of the surgery”, underlines the oncologist. “It can therefore be said that we know little or nothing about this disease. We evaluated the value of loco-regional treatments such as carbon therapy, which has been shown to be useful when combined with surgery. We are talking about a few cases but, given their rarity and the equal difficulty in studying them, it is an important result ”, concludes Palmerini.

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