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Trabectedin in Soft Tissue Sarcomas

University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, 825 Eastlake Avenue East, G-3630, Seattle, WA 98109-1023, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sergey Dyshlovoy and Friedemann Honecker
Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(2), 974-983;
Received: 23 December 2014 / Revised: 27 January 2015 / Accepted: 2 February 2015 / Published: 12 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Compounds and Cancer)
PDF [414 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


Soft tissue sarcomas are a group of rare tumors derived from mesenchymal tissue, accounting for about 1% of adult cancers. There are over 60 different histological subtypes, each with their own unique biological behavior and response to systemic therapy. The outcome for patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma is poor with few available systemic treatment options. For decades, the mainstay of management has consisted of doxorubicin with or without ifosfamide. Trabectedin is a synthetic agent derived from the Caribbean tunicate, Ecteinascidia turbinata. This drug has a number of potential mechanisms of action, including binding the DNA minor groove, interfering with DNA repair pathways and the cell cycle, as well as interacting with transcription factors. Several phase II trials have shown that trabectedin has activity in anthracycline and alkylating agent-resistant soft tissue sarcoma and suggest use in the second- and third-line setting. More recently, trabectedin has shown similar progression-free survival to doxorubicin in the first-line setting and significant activity in liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma subtypes. Trabectedin has shown a favorable toxicity profile and has been approved in over 70 countries for the treatment of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma. This manuscript will review the development of trabectedin in soft tissue sarcomas. View Full-Text
Keywords: trabectedin; ET-743; DNA minor groove binder; soft tissue sarcoma; chemotherapy trabectedin; ET-743; DNA minor groove binder; soft tissue sarcoma; chemotherapy

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Petek, B.J.; Loggers, E.T.; Pollack, S.M.; Jones, R.L. Trabectedin in Soft Tissue Sarcomas. Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 974-983.

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