Extending cancer survival in young patients

Woman hugging another woman who is wearing a head scarf

Early results from a clinical trial show that a new drug may extend survival for cancer patients with a specific type of cancer. The cancer occurs in 1,000 people each year in the U.S. and often affects younger patients.

Sarcomas are cancerous tumors of the connective tissue. They are divided into two main groups: bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas.

Desmoid tumors, which the drug showed promise in, are unusual. They can appear almost anywhere in the body, and some can slowly squeeze vital organs or blood vessels, which can be life-threatening.

The drug, sorafenib tosylate, extended progression-free survival in the sarcoma patients compared with a placebo. Progression-free survival is the length of time patients live before their disease worsens.

The trial was sponsored in part by the National Cancer Institute.

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