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Bull Cancer. 2010 Jun;97(6):693-700. doi: 10.1684/bdc.2010.1115.

[Targeted treatment of rare connective tissue tumors and sarcomas].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Centre Léon-Bérard, 28, rue Laennec, 69008 Lyon, France, Faculté de médecine Lyon-I, université de Lyon, place d'Arsonval, Lyon, France.


The recent progress of the biology of the locally aggressive sarcomas of soft tissues and related connective tissue tumors enabled to reclassify molecular and histological entities of the disease. Six subgroups of sarcomas are identified with specific molecular alterations, the targeted treatments of which are the object of this article: 1) sarcomas with specific translocations with fusion oncogenes (DFSP, PVNS); 2) sarcomas with tyrosine kinase mutations (KIT in GIST); 3) tumors with deletion of tumor suppressor genes (TSC in the PEComes, NF1 involved in type 1 neurofibromatosis; 4) sarcomas with MDM2/CDK4 amplification in the 12q13-15 amplicon, i.e. well differentiated or dedifferentiated liposarcomas; 5) sarcomas with complex genetics present more unrefined genetic changes (leiomyosarcomas, osteosarcomas). On top these 5 groups, desmoids tumors characterized by alterations of the Wnt, beta catenin, APC, and giant cell tumors of the bone, in which RANK/RANKL operates a complex interaction between the cellular stroma and giant tumor cells. The identification of these abnormal ways of road marking to licence the development of effective targeted therapeutic agents against certain rare histological connective subcategories of sarcomas and tumors with local aggressiveness, in particular DFSP, PVNS, GCST, PEComes, endometrial stromal sarcomas, Ewing sarcomas, etc. Imatinib is used in the treatment of DFSP, characterized by a translocation of the gene PDGF, or in pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS), a tumor of soft part also locally aggressive, caused by an abnormality of the gene coding for the M-CSF. Several clinical trials of phase I and II trials demonstrated the antitumor activity of anti-IGF1R antibodies in Ewing, whose fusion gene downregulates IGFBP3. Inhibitors of MDM2 are in the course of clinical evaluation in liposarcomas. Inhibitors of mTOR (sirolimus, temsirolimus) demonstrated an antitumoral activity in the PEComas. The molecular characterization of sarcomas allowed to develop therapeutic targeted to correct the responsible abnormalities. Translational research is and will be an essential tool for the development of new treatments and the identification of the mechanisms of answer and resistance set up by these tumors.

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