The National Cancer Institute, in its "Roadmap for Sarcoma Research," notes:
"Since the 1950s, limb-sparing surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy have improved sarcoma survival rates or reduced recurrence rates. Today, surgery — often coupled with radiation therapy — is usually the primary treatment for sarcoma, although some rhabdomyosarcomas and Ewing sarcomas can be cured with only radiation and chemotherapy. Most patients who die from sarcoma have chemotherapy-resistant metastatic disease. Only a few chemotherapy drugs are effective, and the rarity and heterogeneity of sarcoma make testing new agents challenging. Given the lack of a uniform standard of care, the difficulty in diagnosis, and the lack of new treatments … most sarcoma patients have been underserved by the medical and research communities.” [emphasis added]
The Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Clinic of the Arizona Cancer Center intends to play a major role in reversing the neglect that sarcoma patients have faced. Further, while we wish to bring the best current therapy to our patients, we also want to bring them tomorrow's treatments today. This can only be done when our patients partner with us in the research enterprise. We are all — patients, clinic staff and clinicians — team members in this effort!
Clinical research is a major focus of our efforts. We are executing research projects both in the laboratory and clinic. In the laboratory, we are using clinical specimens to design new treatment approaches. In our clinic, we are bringing the newest treatments to our patients. We are supported by a dedicated team of cancer research nurses, research coordinators, research pharmacists and support staff. Many of our patients participating in our research initiatives find that they develop a personal investment in the success of our research enterprise.
In the words of football great Merlin Olsen, “The winning team has a dedication. It will have a core of veteran players who set the standards. They will not accept defeat.”
The status quo for sarcoma patients is not acceptable. The tools to address these problems exist. Together, we can change the world to one in which a diagnosis of "sarcoma" is not filled with dread. In this battle against these terrible diseases, our team — patients, family members, staff, clinicians — "will not accept defeat."