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Showing posts from April, 2017

UPenn Scientists Are Investigating Better Treatments for Sarcoma Tumors

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by Adrian Rivera-Reyes and Koreana Pak
Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare cancers of the connective tissues, such as bone, muscle, fat, and blood vessels. Soft and elastic, sarcoma tumors can push against their surroundings as they grow silent and undetected. Residing in an arm, torso, or thigh, it can take years before a sarcoma begins to cause pain. By the time a patient presents their tumor to a doctor, amputation may be unavoidable1.
In 2017, it is predicted that 12,390 Americans will be diagnosed with sarcoma, and approximately 5,000 patients will die from these tumors2. But the vast majority of these patients aren’t dying from the first tumor in their arm or leg—the real danger is metastasis, which is responsible for more than 90% of cancer-related deaths3-5.
Metastasis occurs when tumor cells leave their original site and colonize a new area of the body, such as the lungs, liver, or bones3-5. The current treatment options for sarcoma—surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation—are not v…