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ESMO recommends that hyperthermia becomes a standard therapy for soft tissue sarcoma

BSD Medical : 23 September, 2008  (Company News)
The addition of hyperthermia to chemotherapy has been recommended as standard therapy for soft tissue sarcoma by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the leading European professional medical oncology organization comprising a network of more than 5,000 oncology professionals in over 100 countries.
The use of hyperthermia as standard treatment for soft tissue sarcomas was debated at the 33rd European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress, which was held last week in Stockholm, Sweden to determine if the treatment should be approved as standard therapy. The title of the debate was: “Hyperthermia Has Been Shown to Improve Local Control of Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Should This Now Be Standard Therapy?”

Dr Rolf D. Issels, University Hospital Medical Center Grosshadern and Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen-German Research Center for Environmental Health, presented the case for approval based on improved clinical outcomes (response and survival) with the use of regional hyperthermia when combined with chemotherapy in the management of locally advanced, high grade soft tissue sarcomas. T

he results of an EORTC (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer) sponsored Phase III study involving 341 randomized patients with high risk soft tissue sarcomas had demonstrated an approximate doubling of disease-free survival time for patients who received treatments using BSD Medical’s BSD-2000 system to deliver hyperthermia in combination with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, as compared to those patients who received chemotherapy, surgery and radiation alone.

Dr Issels pointed out that as of May 2008 the mean follow-up time of the sarcoma study patients was 57 months and that the long-term data continues to demonstrate improved clinical outcomes for tumour response and survival from the addition of hyperthermia.

Dr Martin Robinson, Cancer Research Centre, Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, Great Britain, presented the case against approval. Dr Robinson did not oppose the use of hyperthermia, but he pointed out some potential problems that a general adoption of hyperthermia might present as an additional treatment mode for soft tissue sarcoma.

After both speakers had concluded their remarks, the physicians voted electronically regarding the approval of hyperthermia as standard therapy in all European countries (population of 450 million). The response was in favour of hyperthermia, with 74 percent of the respondents voting for the adoption of hyperthermia when combined with chemotherapy as standard therapy for the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas.

ESMO constantly strives to address the timely issues that affect the field of oncology. The society’s objective is to provide evidence-based information and treatment requirements for the field of medical oncology and to establish platforms for the dissemination and sharing of knowledge. ESMO releases annual updates of its recommendations for treatment of specific tumors and now recommends in the use of hyperthermia as a treatment for high grade soft tissue sarcoma.
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