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Advances Continue in Sarcoma Care, Offer Blueprint for Other Tumor Types

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Monday, May 16, 2016

George D. Demetri, MD

George D. Demetri, MD

Advancements in sarcoma are both revolutionizing the treatment of this heterogeneous disease and influencing the research and treatment approach in other tumor types, according to George D. Demetri, MD.

, Demetri, senior vice president for Experimental Therapeutics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and codirector of the Ludwig Center at Harvard, discusses current trends in sarcoma care, how the field of sarcoma has paved the way for other tumor types, and emerging therapeutic advances in the field.

OncLive: What recent research have you found to potentially be practice-changing in the treatment of sarcomas?

Demetri: Interestingly, at the 2016 AACR Annual Meeting, there was not a lot that was practice-changing. There was a lot that was practice-informing; and a lot of the changes in practice, such as the introduction of immuno-oncology to a variety of solid tumors, have already changed practice.

What we’re seeing now is more evidence—hard evidence, longer-term outcomes about why that change in practice was absolutely required. These things are expensive; we have to watch the cost of these drugs and the way we take care of people. However, on the other hand, they are magnificent in their activity, and they are probably only going to get better. We are probably at “version 1.1” of immuno-oncology. On my Mac, I’m on version 10 of the operating system. We are going to get that kind of improvement as we go forward.
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