Sarcoma chemotherapy uses powerful medications to destroy cancerous cells. Chemo can be used to treat both osteosarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas, and it can be given at any point in a patient’s treatment plan.
Chemotherapy works by targeting cells that have an abnormally fast growth rate. While it can be a highly effective form of treatment, it also has the potential to damage healthy cells, such as those that line the esophagus. To help limit the side effects that a patient experiences, medical oncologists will adjust the dosage until they find a regimen that shrinks the tumor with minimal toxicity.
Sarcoma chemotherapy is typically provided in six-week cycles, with a rest period of several weeks in between each cycle. During this time, a patient’s body works to restore any healthy cells that were damaged by the chemotherapy.
The most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat soft tissue sarcoma include:
Another treatment option is isolated limb infusion (ILI), a method of delivering super-high doses of chemotherapy directly to the tumor in an extremity. While there are many options, the medications that are highly effective for one type of sarcoma might have no affect at all on another. That’s why it’s important for patients to seek treatment from an experienced medical oncologist. The Sarcoma Program at Moffitt Cancer Center has a multispecialty team with extensive experience treating each of the unique forms of sarcoma, and they individualize each patient’s treatment plan to meet his or her needs. We not only provide tailored chemotherapy regimens, but also comprehensive supportive care options to improve our sarcoma patients’ quality of life during treatment.