Biological therapy for soft tissue sarcoma
Biological therapy is used to treat certain types of soft tissue sarcomas. Biological therapy uses natural or artificial substances that change the way cells behave. Different types of biological therapies work in different ways. Some types kill, control or change how cancer cells behave. Other types strengthen the body’s immune system, control symptoms or lessen side effects of treatment. Biological therapy is also called biotherapy or biological response modifiers (BRMs).
The biological therapies used to treat soft tissue sarcomas are also called targeted therapies. Targeted therapy uses drugs to target specific molecules (such as proteins) on the surface of cancer cells. These molecules help send signals that tell cells to grow or divide. By targeting these molecules, the drugs stop the growth and spread of cancer cells while limiting harm to normal cells.
Biological therapy drugs may be used along with chemotherapy drugs.
Biological therapy drugs used for soft tissue sarcomas
Your healthcare team will consider your personal needs to plan the drugs, doses and schedules of biological therapy. Different types of biological therapy drugs are used to treat different types of soft tissue sarcoma.
Pazopanib (Votrient) or eribulin (Halaven) are used to treat soft tissue sarcomas that are advanced and have already been treated with chemotherapy.
Imatinib (Gleevec) and sunitinib (Sutent) are used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs).
Sorafenib (Nexavar), sunitinib and bevacizumab (Avastin) are used for angiosarcoma.
Bevacizumab and sunitinb are used for hemangiopericytoma.
Sirolimus (Rapamune) and everolimus (Afinitor) are used to treat PEComa.
Lartruvo (Olaratumab) in combination with doxorubicin for advanced soft tissue sarcoma that can’t be removed with surgery or radiation therapy.
Information about specific cancer drugs
Details on specific drugs changes quite regularly. Find out more about sources of drug information and where to get details on specific drugs.
Questions to ask about biological therapy
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.