Advances and Pending Innovations in the Treatment of Sarcoma

In season 3, episode 2 of Targeted Talks, Mark Agulnik, MD, discusses molecular testing for patients with sarcoma, treatment with targeted therapies, and ongoing research.

In season 3, episode 2 of Targeted Talks, Mark Agulnik, MD, section chief of Sarcoma Medical Oncology, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics, and research professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center (City of Hope), discusses molecular testing for patients with sarcoma, targeted therapies, and ongoing research.

Getting a picture of the molecular characteristics of a patient’s disease is a process that has evolved over time, according to Agulnik. The importance of this testing is to identify molecular drivers that could make patients eligible for clinical trial enrollment or if there are any FDA-approved drugs that can be administered to the patient.

In recent years, the number of targeted therapies and immunotherapies for the treatment of sarcoma has greatly increased. Agulnik notes that most patients are hoping for chemotherapy-free treatment options. Pazopanib and a 3-to-4-month improvement in progression-free survival over placebo, which was not robust enough for the patient group. Today, therapies like regorafenib (Stivarga), entrectinib (Rozlytrek), and larotrectinib (Vitrakvi) appear to achieve better outcomes, explains Agulnik. More therapies are being explored for the treatment of sarcomas like cabozantinib (Cabometyx) and immunotherapies.

Agulnik also touches on the current Clinical Practice Guidelines for the treatment of sarcoma and how practices, how practices are carried out at City of Hope, and what community oncologists should know about treating sarcoma in today’s landscape.