Actualité - ASCO

The Benefits of Receiving Sarcoma Treatment at a Reference Center

Mathilde Regnault
Retroperitoneal sarcomas of the abdomen are cancerous tumors that can grow to a large size and encompass several different organs. As a result, the process of removing them is complex.
Dr Sylvie Bonvalot

In a recent national study conducted with the NETSARC network, to be presented at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting, Dr. Sylvie Bonvalot, Head of the Sarcoma and Complex Tumor Surgery Unit at Institut Curie, demonstrates the importance of receiving treatment at a reference center from the outset for this rare type of tumor. The study involved 1286 patients with retroperitoneal sarcoma operated on for the initial disease between 2010 and 2016. The data could be recorded prospectively, since all sarcomas must be reviewed by pathologists in the sarcoma group, regardless of where the patients underwent their initial operation. Researchers therefore have access to all study and follow-up information, thanks to the work of several research assistants in France who collect this data. Approximately one third of patients are operated on at an expert center, while the other two thirds are still operated on elsewhere.  Overall survival at five years exceeds 20% in expert centers, even when subsequent relapses are treated there. This underlines the fundamental importance of the initial surgical treatment being carried out correctly by a surgeon experienced in this particular field.
Institut Curie is mindful of the importance of training surgeons in this field and organizes the E-surge masterclass every two years, founded by Dr. Bonvalot. The aim is to train European surgeons through live screenings of surgery performed on these tumors, combined with lectures in theory. Dr. Bonvalot has also established a university course for French doctors treating patients with this disease, which has been running for two years.