Approximately 15,000 new patients are diagnosed every year in the United States, the majority of which are misdiagnosed before having access (not because of financial reasons) to a sarcoma specialist. Compared with the more common cancers, sarcomas have not been extensively investigated, due to the fact that funds for research are virtually nonexistent. This is because the pharmaceuticals companies consider the number of patients with sarcoma extremely low (as compared with the double digit millions for other cancers). Thus they have no profit incentive to develop clinical trials or chemos for sarcoma patients. The result is very limited treatment options for sarcoma patients. Sarcoma remains as one of the most deadly forms of cancer amongst children and adults. The factors responsible for the disease are unknown.
When we look at the statistics, we observed that patients for those that the sarcoma has spread to other parts of the body, the prognosis is very low.
Additionally, most of the sarcomas come back within the first two years of the treatment.
Clinical knowledge is very limited due to lack of funding. There have been no new treatments since the 1980s, which leads to a poor survival rate.
Young or Old
Sarcoma can affect anyone, young or old. It does not discriminate between children or adults. We don't yet know what causes sarcoma, but we do know some things that raise the risk of developing one:
Sarcoma can occur in any part of the body
Sarcomas grow in connective tissue -- cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body. These tumors are most common in the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, nerves, fat, and blood vessels of your arms and legs, but they can happen anywhere.
EXAMPLE OF A PELVIC BONE TUMOR
Why is it that we don’t know how to treat sarcoma effectively?
It is a rare cancer and the information we know about it is limited. Also, because is rare, there is no financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest in a rare disease, also there is no incentive to support research for sarcoma.
As a consequence, we are using the same drugs that were used 20 years ago.