• Press Release
  • For Immediate Release
  • Media Contact:
    • Michele Franco
    • 626.792.8247 ext. 264
    • michele.franco@stbaldricks.org

St. Baldrick’s Foundation Supports New Treatment Discovered by Children’s Oncology Group and NRG Oncology for Soft Tissue Sarcoma

LOS ANGELES (July 27, 2020) – Research led by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and NRG Oncology, and supported by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, discovered that adding pazopanib, a type of chemotherapy, to preoperative chemoradiotherapy improves response to treatment for soft tissue sarcoma patients, compared with chemoradiotherapy alone. This is believed to be the first collaborative study by pediatric and adult cancer researchers in soft tissue sarcoma to evaluate a new therapeutic approach in patients across the entire age spectrum. The work appears as an advance online publication today in Lancet Oncology.

Soft tissue sarcomas represent 7% of childhood and 2% of adult cancers, excluding rhabdomyosarcoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumor and Ewing sarcoma, each of which has a disease-defined treatment.

Surgery, with or without radiotherapy, is a common treatment for the 60% of patients with soft tissue sarcoma with small and superficial tumors. Patients with large or deeper tumors have only a 50% cancer for long-term survival even with the addition of intensive chemotherapy to surgery and radiotherapy.

“It is too early to know if the addition of pazopanib will improve the chances for long-term survival,” said Dr. Douglas Hawkins, COG Group Chair, “but the increase in response makes us hopeful that we may see improved outcome from the addition of pazopanib over time.”

“This new treatment to improve responses for soft tissue sarcoma patients is one of many reasons the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is proud to be the largest non-government funder of the Children’s Oncology Group,” said Becky Chapman Weaver, St. Baldrick’s Chief Mission Officer. “Each year a multi-million-dollar St. Baldrick’s grant to the COG supports the costs of treating children on clinical trials. This study received additional support as one of the COG’s high-impact initiatives. We look forward to supporting more advancements as a result of COG clinical trials in the years ahead.”

The success of this study will likely encourage additional joint pediatric and adult studies in soft tissue sarcomas and diseases that extend to various ages in the future.

The research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer. St. Baldrick’s funds some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at StBaldricks.org to help support the best childhood cancer research, no matter where it takes place.

About Children’s Oncology Group
The Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute supported clinical trials group, is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. The COG unites more than 9,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals, universities, and cancer centers across North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe in the fight against childhood cancer.

About NRG Oncology
NRG Oncology seeks to improve the lives of cancer patients by conducting practice-changing multi-institutional clinical and translational research with emphases on gender-specific malignancies including gynecologic, breast, and prostate cancers and on localized or locally advanced cancers of all types.