William D. Tap, MD, discusses the evolution of precision medicine in soft tissue sarcomas.
William D. Tap, MD, chief of the Sarcoma Medical Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the evolution of precision medicine in soft tissue sarcomas.
Soft tissue sarcoma represents a heterogeneous group of malignancies, says Tap. The last World Health Organization criteria to be published contained more than 100 different sarcoma subtypes.
The field recognizes that these sarcoma subtypes are different diseases with different biologies, presentations, and clinical courses, according to Tap. However, in the past, many of these subtypes were grouped together when attempts were made to develop new treatment strategies, Tap says. There have been a lot of issues with clinical trials with regard to how they were been designed and conducted, with investigators questioning whether these factors impacted results yielded from this research, adds Tap.
Within the past 5 years, several new agents have emerged in the sarcoma field, says Tap; these drugs have allowed patients to receive treatment based on their individualized disease subtype. A better understanding of the clinical course that patients with some of these rare subtypes of disease experience has also been developed, according to Tap. This has allowed for better clinical trial designs that are right for the disease and right for the individualized patient, concludes Tap.