I saw my oncologist today, he's satisfied with the way the first cycle of the new chemotherapy has gone and, subject to nothing odd showing up in my blood test results, I'll go ahead with the second cycle next week.
Since my last blog entry the side effects from the Trabectedin have been relatively minor. For the first week after having the treatment I had some fatigue, particularly in the afternoons, some fluid retention (but that only lasted two or three days) and some disruption to my digestive system which is still ongoing (I will spare you the details!). I am hopeful that the next cycle will not prove to be a more difficult experience.
There was an interesting development recently regarding the treatment of Leiomyosarcoma. First, the US Food & Drug Administration approved the use of a drug called Pazopanib for the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma and then the results of the phase III clinical trial on which the FDA decision was based were published in the Lancet. In the trial the use of Pazopanib gave "A statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) in patients receiving pazopanib compared to those receiving placebo".
Pazopanib is an anti-angiogensis drug, these agents work by stopping tumours from developing the blood supplies they need to survive and grow. There is quite a lot of research into anti-angiogensis agents and Pazopanib is one of several that are being tested for efficacy against various cancers.
The development of a new treatment for soft tissue sarcoma is something that happens very rarely so it's really positive to see the trial results and the decision of the FDA. Sadly Pazopanib is not a cure for the disease and the results of the trial still leave unanswered some key questions about the duration and extent of the benefits of this drug though it is clear that in most cases these last for only a few months. It will be interesting to see if Pazopanib is approved for use in the NHS.