Leiomyosarcomas are uncommon malignant tumors that grow from immature smooth muscle cells, accounting for up to 20 percent of all soft tissue sarcomas. They appear most often in large blood vessels and the pelvic area, including the uterus, and, to a lesser extent, in the extremities like the thighs. In its metastatic state, leiomyosarcoma most commonly spreads to the bloodstream, lung, and liver. Age is considered a high-risk factor for this disease. It can affect people of different ages, but the median age is 58 and a half.
Common leiomyosarcoma symptoms
Symptoms of leiomyosarcoma vary depending on the location of the tumors. They frequently cause discomfort, swelling, blood clots and pain.
Treatments for leiomyosarcoma
Treatments for leiomyosarcoma include:
Surgery: tumor resection – a surgical operation to remove the tumor, including wide margins beyond the tumor to enhance the potential for a non-recurrence. Surgery, with as wide a margin of removal as possible, has generally been the most effective and preferred method of treatment for leiomyosarcoma. If surgical margins are narrow or not clear of tumor, or in some situations where tumor cells were left behind, chemotherapy or radiation have been shown to give a clear survival benefit. While LMS tends to be resistant to radiation and chemotherapy, each case is different and results can vary widely.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy may be used on leiomyosarcoma tumors to destroy cancer cells while working to preserve the function of surrounding organs.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs, typically gemcitabine-docetaxel, may be combined to attack and destroy leiomyosarcoma cells. Other possible drugs include trabectedin.
Targeted drug therapy: Targeted drug therapy is directed at specific molecular features of cancer. Pazopanib, an oral therapy approved for leiomyosarcoma, is often combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy as part of a leiomyosarcoma treatment plan.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses certain parts of your body’s immune system to help fight cancer. On the horizon for LMS.