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ASCO : towards a better prediction of the evolution of synovial sarcomas

Dr Daniel Orbach, head of the Paediatric Oncology departmeent, presented at the ASCO conference the results of the Synobio trial, for which he was the principal investigator. The goal was to better predict the evolution of the disease, in order to adjust treatments.

ASCO : towards a better prediction of the evolution of synovial sarcomas

Synovial sarcomas are rare tumors of soft tissues that mainly develop in arms and legs. They are categorized as a pediatric cancer but a very similar type of sarcomas also exist in adults. How evolution, the evolution is quite different : pediatric patients under the age of 25 usually have a more positive eovlution and the answer to chemotherapy treatments is usually better, with a higher overall survival than adults.

Recent data show that the number of chromosome alterations in tumor cells (genomic index), analyzed via a technique known as CGH (comparative genomic hybridization), can help differentiate tumors in adults with a positive evolution from those that will develop metastases.

Dr Orbach and his team led a European trial that used this technique in 62 patients with synovial sarcomas.  The analysis showed that tumors with a high genomic index (higher than 0) had  a 33% risk to develop against 6% for low genomic index (0) tumors. This test is very easy to carry out and therefore could be used to sort patients and to adjust treatments.

This study is another step towards therapeutic de-escalation, a major challenge in the fight against pediatric cancers. Reducing treatments as much as possible, including chemotherapy, while providing patients with the maximum chance of recovery helps to limit short and long-term side effects.

Institut Curie is one of the national and european leaders in research on pediatric cancers. It provides its patients the most accurate treatments in a specifically-designed environment.

Mathilde Regnault