Wednesday, September 3, 2008

ES Facebook group launched

I mention this mainly for completeness, since I'm not myself a Facebook member, but someone has launched a "causes" page for epitheloid sarcoma on the social-networking site. The gateway is here. It seems like a worthy venture, but one line from the page gave me pause. Caroline, the page owner, writes, "It is proven that it does not respond to chemotherapy." 

This is verifiably false; this paper doesn't quite get to core of the issue, since it's in vitro, but it shows that ES cells are killed by paclitaxel, aka Taxol (the standard second-line treatment for ES, and many other sarcomas, is now a combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel, another taxane). It is true that ES is highly chemo resistant, and it may be true that chemotherapy does not have a proven overall survival benefit for ES. The jury is still out, unfortunately. But based on my response to chemo and the anecdotal accounts of others, I'm convinced that at the very least chemo can increase progression free survival. I'm puzzled as to why more than a few people dealing with ES want to say that chemo is useless. The situation is bad enough -- let's not make it any worse with overly sweeping statements about the disease's drug resistance.

No comments: