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Leiomyosarcomas are uncommon malignant tumors that grow from immature smooth muscle cells, accounting for between 10 percent and 20 percent of all soft tissue sarcomas. They appear most often in large blood vessels and the pelvic area, including the uterus, and, to a lesser extent, in the extremities like the thighs. In its metastatic state, leiomyosarcoma most commonly spreads to the bloodstream, lung and liver. Age is considered a high risk factor for this disease. It most commonly affects people in their 70s.

Common leiomyosarcoma symptoms

Symptoms of leiomyosarcoma vary depending on the location of the tumors. They frequently cause discomfort, swelling, blood clots and pain.

Advanced treatments for leiomyosarcoma

Treatments for leiomyosarcoma include:

Surgery: Tumor resection, a surgical operation to remove the tumor, is a common treatment for leiomyosarcoma. The surgeon typically strives to determine that wide margins beyond the tumor have no evidence of cancer, to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy may be used on leiomyosarcoma tumors to destroy cancer cells while working to preserve the function of surrounding organs.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs, typically gemcitabine-docetaxel, may be combined to attack and destroy leiomyosarcoma cells. Other possible drugs include trabectedin.

Targeted drug therapy: Targeted drug therapy is directed at specific molecular features of cancer. Pazopanib, an oral therapy approved for leiomyosarcoma, is often combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy as part of a leiomyosarcoma treatment plan.


Last Revised: 01/31/2017

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