A research team at the National Cancer Center has developed new chemotherapy to increase the necrosis rate of osteosarcoma, a rare, incurable cancer.
|Professor Park Byung-kiu|
When treating osteosarcoma, the necrosis rate by preoperative chemotherapy has an essential effect on the prognosis and survival rate of the disease as hospitals perform preoperative chemotherapy to necrotize as much tumor cells as possible before removing them through surgery.
MAP therapy is now most commonly used in around the world. The treatment uses three drugs methotrexate, adriamycin, and cisplatin.
However, only 40-50 percent of patients responded well to MAP therapy, defined as necrosis above 90 percent.
To resolve this issue, the team, led by Professor Park Byung-kiu, developed a MAPI therapy, which adds ifosfamide into the MAP therapy and shortens the interval between doses treatment.
To confirm its efficacy, the team treated 17 patients who visited NCC from 2009 to 2015 with the newly developed MAPI therapy.
As a result, patients who received MAPI therapy had a tumor necrosis rate of 71 percent, while there was also no difference in the frequency of side effects compared to conventional MAP treatment.
“Our team developed the new treatment after seeing that there was no hope of improving the outcome of osteosarcoma if we only adhere to MAP alone,” Professor Park said. “Due to the rareness of osteosarcoma, however, there is a limit to our retrospective study.”
The team plans conduct a multi-center study involving multiple medical institutions under the Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology to confirm the efficacy of MAPI therapy, Park added.