Dr. George Discusses Need for Biomarkers in Uterine Leiomyosarcoma

Suzanne George, MD
Published: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019



Suzanne George, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, clinical director, Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the need for biomarkers in the treatment of uterine leiomyosarcoma.

Biomarkers can be most useful in this space, George says, if they can aid in early preoperative detection. Additionally, pazopanib (Votrient) has demonstrated encouraging data in soft tissue sarcomas, subsets of leiomyosarcomas, and subsets of uterine leiomyosarcomas. However, the challenge with this drug is that it is a multikinase inhibitor. In uterine leiomyosarcoma, researchers have not yet identified a targetable mutation or pathway. As a result, it becomes difficult to determine which patients are more likely to respond to this treatment.

Moreover, George adds that in the oncology field as a whole, research needs to better understand the mechanisms of response and resistance to immunotherapy. In sarcomas in general, response rates to immunotherapy are low, but there are occasional reports of dramatic responses to this type of treatment. A distinct biomarker will help identify these patients, George concludes.
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Suzanne George, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, clinical director, Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the need for biomarkers in the treatment of uterine leiomyosarcoma.

Biomarkers can be most useful in this space, George says, if they can aid in early preoperative detection. Additionally, pazopanib (Votrient) has demonstrated encouraging data in soft tissue sarcomas, subsets of leiomyosarcomas, and subsets of uterine leiomyosarcomas. However, the challenge with this drug is that it is a multikinase inhibitor. In uterine leiomyosarcoma, researchers have not yet identified a targetable mutation or pathway. As a result, it becomes difficult to determine which patients are more likely to respond to this treatment.

Moreover, George adds that in the oncology field as a whole, research needs to better understand the mechanisms of response and resistance to immunotherapy. In sarcomas in general, response rates to immunotherapy are low, but there are occasional reports of dramatic responses to this type of treatment. A distinct biomarker will help identify these patients, George concludes.



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