Studies have shown that it is beneficial for patients to remain involved and proactive in their treatment. One way to be proactive is to learn as much as possible about sarcoma and more specifically to learn about the latest research being conducted concerning your particular sarcoma. The Internet is a wonderful tool in finding this kind of information, but at times it can be confusing and overwhelming.
There are several sites that provide search tools that look for medical articles on different cancers. Prior to beginning your search, it is helpful to identify key words and alternatives to use in a search. Keep in mind that neoplasm and malignancy are just other terms for cancer, so perhaps use those words if you don't get search results using cancer or sarcoma. The search engines utilize Boolean logic (AND, OR, NOT) to refine searches. For instance you might input "angiosarcoma AND chemotherapy" to further specify your desired search results. To help you get started, detailed below are three sites that provide searches for abstracts and citations about cancer research.
National Library of Medicine
PubMed is the National Library of Medicine's journal literature search system. This site provides access to over 12 million MEDLINE citations and additional life science journal citations. The site also provides links to many other sites, which offer the full text version of the medical articles.
Located on the left side of the web site under the heading "Entrez PubMed" is a listing for the site's Tutorial. The tutorial provides a very helpful and thorough explanation of how to search for journal literature using this site. The tutorial explains how to limit your search for specific dates or languages and also discusses the site's preview feature that allows you to refine your search after you see how many entries appear.
National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute's web site provides a search engine for its bibliographic database named Cancerlit. This database is updated monthly and contains more than 1.8 million citations and abstracts from over 4,000 different sources including biomedical journals, proceedings, books, reports, and doctoral theses. The search page for the database (http://www.cancer.gov/search/cancer_literature/) allows you to define your search by subject, publication type and/or year, and language.
The NCI site offers prepared literature searches for certain topics under its Cancerlit Topic Search heading. http://www.cancer.gov/search/cancer_literature/search_cancerlittopic.aspx/ Soft Tissue Sarcomas is one of the topics, which has a prepared search page. Each edition of the prepared search only includes those citations new that month. The last six editions (the last six months) are included on the site.
NCI also provides Physician Data Query (PDQ), which is a comprehensive database of cancer information. It contains a database of both open and closed clinical trials. From the NCI's home page, click on the clinical trials tab located near the top of the page. There are step-by-step instructions on searching the database for clinical trials. Or the general public can call the NCI's Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER) to request a customized search of the PDQ database.
The NCI's web page also offers live online assistance with its LiveHelp service. Click on the LiveHelp icon for instructions.
Medscape provides searches for MEDLINE and also for its primary source online medical journal, Medscape General Medicine. The search box is located at the center top of the page. Use the dropdown menu to select the MEDLINE search box where you can limit your MEDLINE citation search to certain parameters such as dates, language, or specific articles or journals. In order to view the abstracts of the MEDLINE journal citations, you must register at the site. It is free to register.
Your search will create a Search Results page that has a citation for each relevant article. Clicking on the article title will allow you to view the abstract for that particular article. Above most of the abstracts are icons, which can be used to either purchase a hard copy of the complete article text or to view the text in full online.
You can also search Medscape's DrugInfo database that contains comprehensive drug information that is searchable by drug name or disease. Select the "Reference" tab at the top left of the webpage and then click on the "Drugs, OTCs, & Herbals" link.
Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration
Another resources for information on sarcoma clinical trials is the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC) website. SARC is comprised of world known experts in the field of sarcoma from each of the major sarcoma centers. The organization is a non-profit dedicate to the development and support of clinical trial research for the prevention, treatment and cure of sarcomas.
Hopefully you will find these sites helpful in your search for relevant research. Be certain to share and discuss your findings with your doctor.
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals/Merck Collaboration: SUCCEED Trial
ARIAD and Merck entered into the ridaforolimus collaboration in July 2007 and worked together to develop ridaforolimus in multiple potential cancer indications. In January 2011, the companies announced that the Phase 3 SUCCEED trial met its primary endpoint-statistically significant improvement of progression-free survival (PFS)-in patients with metastatic softtissue and bone sarcomas who have had a favorable response to chemotherapy.
Now therapies are often developed for different types of cancer through the clinical trial process. Click here to see the brochure developed by ARIAD Pharmaceuticals that provides some information on this process and its importance.