Alveolar soft-tissue sarcoma (AMS) is a very rare type of sarcoma, most commonly affecting children and adolescents. The development of AMS is accompanied by abundant growth of blood vessels that connect the tumor to the circulatory system and contribute to the dispersal of cancer cells. These cells quickly enter other parts of the body — most often the lungs and brain.
The treatment options for alveolar soft tissue sarcoma are very limited, in particular, chemotherapy is not effective here.
A team led by researchers at the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) has tested whether the new cediranib drug, which blocks the growth of blood vessels, can be an effective treatment for AMS.
About 48 patients from 10 hospitals in the UK, Spain and Australia participated in a phase II study called CASPS. The results were published in The Lancet Oncology.
Patients in whom the disease has already spread to other parts of the body and has progressed were divided into two groups: the first took cediranib for 24 weeks, and the second a placebo.
To measure the effect of the application, specialists analyzed the change in the sum of the diameters of all the tumors that the patient has.
In the cediranib group, the diameter of these tumors decreased by an average of 8%; during the same time, in the placebo group, this indicator increased by an average of 13%.
Co-author of the study, Professor Judith Bliss of the Clinical Trials and Statistics Division at ICR, comments: “Using a trial scheme that allowed us to monitor treatment efficacy for 24 weeks, we showed that cediranib really has a significant clinical advantage for patients with AMS and can play an important role in the treatment of the disease. ”
Co-leader of the study, Professor Jan Judson, a professor of cancer pharmacology at ICR, said: “There are very few treatments for many types of sarcoma, and the development of new options is extremely rare. This test provides new hope for young people with a rare type of sarcoma, AMS. Obviously, cediranib is a good option that can help manage the disease. ”