Sarcoma Awareness Month 2023 with Brian Van Tine, MD, PhD


Brian Van Tine, MD, PhD, speaks about several agents and combination regimens that are currently under investigation in the sarcoma space, and potential next steps in research including immunotherapies and vaccine-based treatments.

In a conversation with CancerNetwork® during July’s Sarcoma Awareness Month 2023, Brian Van Tine, MD, PhD, spoke about developments in the sarcoma research space and discussed where future research needs to be focused in order to push the needle forward in the treatment of this patient across numerous sarcoma subgroups.

Van Tine, a professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology, Section of Medical Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine’s Siteman Cancer Center, discussed his research on nirogacestat as a treatment for desmoid tumors as part of the phase 3 DeFi trial (NCT03785964) as well as sitravatinib for managing well-differentiated or dedifferentiated liposarcoma.

He also spoke about other areas of interest in the sarcoma space, including the development of an adoptive T-cell therapy for patients with synovial sarcoma in a phase 1 trial (NCT03132922). Moreover, in the advanced leiomyosarcoma space, he indicated that investigators are assessing unesbulin in combination with dacarbazine as part of another phase 3 trial (NCT05269355).

Concerning the potential next steps in the sarcoma space, Van Tine highlighted several possible developments including research centered on circulating tumor DNA, metabolic therapies, and immunotherapies. He also voiced his hope of advancing vaccine-based technologies in the field within the next 5 years with the hope of delivering individualized neoantigens via injection to sarcomas.

“The best part is when, all of a sudden, you see that look in a patient's face when you get to tell them that they tried something that was ultra-new, and it worked,” Van Tine commented when discussing the development of new treatment options for patients with sarcomas. “We don't do this for us. We do this because we're dedicated to this community. When you actually get the opportunity to see it work, it's almost as exciting for us as it is for the patient.”

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