2010 European Society of Medical Oncology Annual Meeting
Interview with Berksoy Sahin - Çukurova University Medical School, Adana-Turkey
Soft Tissue Sarcoma management in Turkey
Question: What are you talking about at ESMO 2010?
In tomorrow’s meeting, I’ll be presenting data on the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue sarcomas in Turkey.
Soft tissue sarcomas are not very common tumours in Turkey. According to data provided by the Turkish National Cancer Centre, the incident rate for soft tissue sarcomas is below 0.0019%. Although it is a rare type of cancer in some regions, for example in the Aegean part of Turkey, soft tissue sarcomas are the fourth common cancer type among children aged 0-14. This is important data showing there may be differences between the regions.
Another important point is the lack of comprehensive data on soft tissue sarcomas in Turkey and across the world. To this end, we have gathered data in our region scanning nearly 500 cases between 2000 and 2010. This includes data on the prevalence of the disease in our region, information on our methods for diagnosing the disease and how we manage the diagnosed cases with multimodality that enables several disciplines to coexist.
Of course soft tissue sarcoma is not a type of cancer that can be cured by medical oncologists, radiation oncologists or surgeons on their own. They have to decide together so that we may have the chance to increase the life quality of the patient and also help them live longer.
I would also like to point out that, relatively, we are not very successful in curing patients with soft tissue sarcomas with conventional treatment to date. Especially as we have seen in recent years, we desperately need new elements in the treatment of uncured and distant metastasis of soft tissue sarcomas.
Question: What issues do you face treating soft issue sarcomas in Turkey?
I did not have the chance to compare the data with the European ones. But I can say the prevalence of soft tissue sarcomas is not very different to the other parts of the world when we compare it with the global data. The most important problem for all of us is that when you fail to cure the disease completely, it becomes more difficult to manage the locally advanced metastatic cases.
In Turkey, we are having difficulty in bringing patients together in clinical studies, whereas in Europe and especially in Italy, they have the chance to bring them together and compile scientific data after clinical studies. This gives Italy and EORTC an advantage when extracting scientific data about the disease.