Sarcoma is a cancer that starts in connective or other soft tissue. The sarcomas that are the most common are leiomyosarcomas, rhabdomyosarcomas, and Ewing's sarcomas. Other forms occur, but less often than the others. This article describes the signs and symptoms, pathologic features, and treatment of sarcoma.
There is a significant incidence of ESCC, ECC, and ESS in the United States (1, 8, 9). Based on epidemiologic data from the US SEER database, it is expected that 2,739 people develop ESCC, 2,4,062 people develop ECC, and 3,151 people develop ESS per year in the United States (9). A recent meta-analysis of 12 studies in the literature examining the incidence of cancers by race/ethnicity also found that ESCC was the most common neoplasm in Asian Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. It is not known what portion of the 2,789 individuals with ESCC reported that they were not vaccinated against rabies (9).
Sarcoma cannot be cured, since all people will experience some adverse effects as a result of chemotherapy and will relapse. For this reason, the aim of chemotherapy is to reduce the risk of relapse, but not to cure the sarcoma.
It appears that a mutation to the p53 gene can cause sarcoma in patients who often have radiation exposure. This effect is especially strong in children who had no previous radiation exposure and in older patients who had no exposure of any kind. Oncogene mutations can also be important, as a cancer susceptibility gene and an oncogene have been identified in this disorder.
This article describes the signs that may appear on computed tomography. These signs may help the radiologist to form strong diagnostic impressions without the aid of conventional imaging such as X-rays or radiographs.
Treatment for sarcoma depends on the type of cancer and how far it has spread. Common treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of the foregoing. Sarcomas are the most prevalent of the soft tissue tumors evaluated. Lymphatic and cutaneous sarcomas are common.\n
The review found no convincing evidence that treatment is more effective than is a placebo in reducing patient-reported metastasis risk, quality of life or overall tumor size.
Clinicians should consider enrollment into clinical trials of investigational agents for sarcomas; however, only a small proportion of clinical trial populations enroll patients with sarcomas. Most patients with sarcomas are treated aggressively, and the overall survival rates for such patients are comparable (and potentially greater) when compared with patients treated outside clinical trials. Prospective trials evaluating outcomes of patients with sarcomas treated in an academic setting vs patients treated in a clinical trial setting should be conducted.
Age-related trends were very different than we expected. Most sarcomas occur in a wide range of patients, from infants to individuals in their 80s. The median age of diagnosis is 59 years but this may reflect advances during routine testing rather than detection of sarcomas by screening. Further research is needed to understand the changes in patterns of disease presentation with advances in diagnostic modalities and improved awareness of risk factors in different age groups.
Most of the current treatments for primary cutaneous T-cell lymphomas are ineffective, although an assortment of other immune-modulating agents, such as interferon-α, may be used in selected patients. Data from a recent study, the most frequent response in patients with newly diagnosed cutaneous T-cell lymphoma was that of complete remission, with a response rate of 80%. The treatment usually follows an (extremely) intense combination chemotherapy with a corticosteroid (e.g. prednisone) for most patients. The objective of treatment will be to kill the tumor while ensuring the individual's functional immune system remains intact. Treatment of all skin cancers (i.e.
The high number of trial proposals and reported results suggests that the clinical trials are not just sporadic but rather part of the overall evidence base for clinical interventions. The number of ongoing clinical trials in all categories is high; however, the findings of many clinical trials are inconclusive and may not be of clinical significance to the people concerned with care of cancer patients. Clinical trials should include a patient-oriented endpoint and measure quality of life using validated health questionnaire.