Immunotherapy Drug Atezolizumab Approved for Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma - medtigo



Immunotherapy Drug Atezolizumab Approved for Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma

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According to US News, the preliminary findings of a novel therapy for a rare cancer type affecting the body’s soft tissues are promising. The FDA has authorized the immunotherapy medication atezolizumab (Tecentriq) for treating individuals with metastatic or inoperable advanced alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS).  

“This clearance will have a huge effect in terms of a rare ailment that has been exceedingly difficult to treat,” said one of the leading specialists on cancer therapy and diagnostics at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the United States (DCTD).  

Adipose tissue, which surrounds and supports the body’s critical organs, is where cancer develops. It starts slowly, but once it gets rolling, it’s usually lethal. Both standard chemotherapy and the most current generation of targeted medications, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, have failed to improve patient outcomes considerably.  

ASPS affects around eighty persons in the United States each year. After five years, more than half of the people diagnosed with metastatic illness will still be alive. This cancer is more common in young adults and teens.

The permission came after the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health in the United States completed a non-randomized phase 2 experiment (NIH). The medicine has been authorized for use by adults and children over the age of two by the Food and Drug Administration.  

According to DCTD director Dr. James Doroshow, the NIH Clinical Center in Maryland served around 40% of the trial’s subjects. According to the NCI news release, Doroshow emphasized the need to recruit patients worldwide. This research was the first to receive FDA clearance as part of the NCI’s Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network.

“This is a tremendous milestone for scientists in the Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network, the ASPS patient group, and research on unusual tumors,” said study leader Dr. Elad Sharon. This drug has been licensed for use in children for the first time. Chen stated that the NCI’s Pediatric Oncology Branch in the Center for Cancer Research assisted in recruiting participants.  

“This research is an excellent example of collaboration between pediatric and medical oncology,” stated Dr. John Glod of the Pediatric Oncology Branch. “It gives youngsters with sporadic cancers access to excellent new medicines.” The research team dramatically appreciates the patients’ involvement in the experiment.  


Atezolizumab is beneficial because it stimulates the immune system, making it more efficient against cancer. This medication works as an inhibitor of a specific immune checkpoint known as PD-L1. Patients with liver, melanoma and lung cancer have been permitted to take it.

This means that the medication qualified for the FDA’s expedited review program. Because atezolizumab is so successful against soft tissue sarcoma, the FDA designated it as an orphan medication.  

The NCI’s phase 2 study with persons with advanced ASPS comprised 49 participants of various ages and races. Patients were administered atezolizumab intravenously every 21 days. One-third of individuals who received the therapy saw their tumors shrink. The majority of the patients’ conditions did not worsen further.  

Following FDA approval as a breakthrough therapy, the medication will be available to patients with advanced stages of ASPS in 2020. Anemia, diarrhea, rash, dizziness, hyperglycemia, and discomfort in the extremities were experienced by about 41% of patients who took medicine; however, no patients discontinued due to these adverse effects.  

Since these disorders are seldom addressed in clinical trials, Chen considers approving therapies for uncommon ailments a scientific success. The approval of this drug for young children suffering from a rare condition is a significant step forward. Researchers are now conducting new studies with atezolizumab in ASPS patients. The drug’s use in combination with other therapy is also discussed.

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