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Autologous stem cell transplantation for soft tissue sarcoma: insufficient research into therapy
Date:12/8/2009

ndergo chemotherapy. The aim is to kill off the cancer cells.

Even if the chemotherapy appears to be successful, the disease soon recurs in a high number of patients. In certain cases, therefore, it is recommended that high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation is followed immediately. Autologous stem cell transplantation is a planned rescue therapy for high-dose chemotherapy-related severe haematological toxicity. The increased dose is intended to reach those hidden cancer cells that may have hitherto survived - at least this is the assumption of this experimental procedure. However, the cancer cells may be resistant to the chemotherapy, irrespective of the size of the dose.

Autologous stem cell transplantation: stem cells are donated by patients

This type of high-dose chemotherapy usually damages vital haematopoietic stem cells in addition to the tumour cells. Consequently, stem cells are removed from the patient before the treatment and re-implanted afterwards. These stem cells mostly colonize the bone marrow and stimulate haematopoiesis. If the transferred stem cells originate from the patient, this is known as autologous stem cell transplantation. IQWiG did not investigate allogenic stem cell transplantation, where the cells are donated by a donor.

IQWiG investigates benefit for high-risk patients

The focus of this report published by IQWiG is on "high-risk patients": these are patients who have an advanced localized or metastasized soft tissue sarcoma. In order to assess the benefit of autologous stem cell transplantation, IQWiG and its external experts compared the treatment results of patients with and without stem cell transplantation as presented in the scientific literature currently available.

Studies without a control group were also included

As with the disease itself, stem cell transplantation for soft tissue sarcomas is relatively rare. In 2005,
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Contact: Dr. Anna-Sabine Ernst
info@iqwig.de
49-022-135-6850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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