Soft tissue sarcomas that are localized to one region of the body are treated with surgical removal frequently combined with radiation therapy. There is no defined role for chemotherapy when these tumors are localized. When sarcoma spreads to other regions, most commonly the lung, again surgical resection of all disease has been the main mode of therapy. For these advanced cases chemotherapy becomes part of the treatment plan to prevent further recurrences. The standard treatment for advanced soft tissue sarcoma for decades has been doxorubicin alone or in combination with other treatments.
The FDA has approved Olaratumab in combination with doxorubicin for patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma. “This is the first new approval for the initial treatment of soft tissue sarcoma in 40 years, and this is significant,” said Alice Chen, M.D., of NCI’s Developmental Therapeutics Clinic in the Division of Cancer Treatments and Diagnosis. “Sarcoma is a group of diseases that has not benefited from research advances as much as some other types of cancer.”