Treatment of patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma: disappointment or challenge?

Curr Opin Oncol. 2007 Jul;19(4):336-40. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e32812143ef.


Purpose of review: We give an overview on the emerging compounds for patients with soft tissue sarcoma. Included are recent developments in targeted therapy, focusing on the following: antiangiogenic and immunomodulatory drugs (e.g. anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated antigen-4 monoclonal antibody), Bcl-2 antisense therapy, raf kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibition, heat shock protein modulators, minor groove binders and other agents being developed.

Recent findings: Soft tissue sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of tumours that arise predominantly from the embryonic mesoderm. They account for fewer than 1% of all adult malignancies. The prognosis of patients with advanced metastatic soft tissue sarcoma remains poor, with disease-free survival at 5 years below 10%. Complete resection remains the only potentially curative treatment option. Only few chemotherapeutic agents have been identified to be active, with reported response rates for doxorubicin and ifosfamide of around 20%. New strategies are urgently needed to improve outcomes.

Summary: Understanding of the molecular biology and pathogenesis of soft tissue sarcomas has been enhanced, and in the near future this should translate into molecular tumour characterization and development of new therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoma / surgery
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Sirolimus