Sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of tumors, requiring different chemotherapeutic approaches. Recently, several regimens for metastatic tumors were evaluated with respect to the different responses to conventional chemotherapy of the various histologic subtypes of sarcomas. The impact of pharmacogenetics in the progress of chemotherapy appears to be crucial in defining the clinical response to many drugs, such as anthracycline or alkylating agents, that are widely used in treatment regimens for soft tissue sarcomas (STS) or sarcomas of the bone. Polymorphisms of metabolizing enzymes (e.g., cytochrome P450 and glutathione-S-transferase), transporter proteins (reduced folate carrier and P-glycoprotein) or target proteins (thymidylate synthase, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, dihydrofolate reductase, and c-KIT) may be responsible for an altered clinical outcome, in terms of both response and toxicity. The administration of new chemotherapeutic agents, such as imatinib for gastrointestinal tumors (GIST), requires the study of genetic polymorphisms possibly affecting the integrity of the target (c-KIT), which may provide valid information regarding possible developments of therapy. For STS and sarcoma of the bone, the genetic markers, which could be unambiguously predictive of the phenotypic profile of patients, are as yet undetermined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas