The biology and treatment of leiomyosarcomas

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2023 Apr:184:103955. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2023.103955. Epub 2023 Mar 7.


Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) is a soft tissue sarcoma of smooth muscle origin that can arise in multiple anatomical sites and is broadly classified as extra-uterine LMS or uterine LMS. There is substantial interpatient heterogeneity within this histological subtype, and despite multi-modal therapy, clinical management remains challenging with poor patient prognosis and few new therapies available. Here we discuss the current treatment landscape of LMS in both the localised and advanced disease setting. We further describe the latest advances in our evolving understanding of the genetics and biology of this group of heterogeneous diseases and summarise the key studies delineating the mechanisms of acquired and intrinsic chemotherapy resistance in this histological subtype. We conclude by providing a perspective on how novel targeted agents such as PARP inhibitors may usher in a new paradigm of biomarker-driven therapies that will ultimately impact the outcomes of patients with LMS.

Keywords: Doxorubicin; Genomics; Leiomyosarcoma; PARP inhibitors; Soft tissue sarcomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Biology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma* / drug therapy
  • Leiomyosarcoma* / therapy
  • Sarcoma* / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents