LeioMyoSarcoma (LMS) is an extremely rare and aggressive cancer that occurs in roughly four out of every million cancer cases. LeioMyoSarcoma, also called LMS, is an unusual cancer that usually strikes people who are middle-aged or older. However, in recent years we are finding the victims are getting younger. LMS affects the soft tissues of the body. Attaching itself to blood vessels, it spreads through the blood stream, affecting other areas such as the liver, lungs, and other soft tissue areas of the body.
Surgery is the first plan of action for this cancer, due to the resistance it has to chemotherapy and radiation. Frequently, however, many surgeries are needed due to the aggressive nature of the disease. Tumors tend to grow large and fast.
There is no cure at the present time for LMS, and remission is difficult to attain. CT scans are needed for the patient’s lifetime, because this cancer can resurface any time in any part of the body.
Because LMS is so rare, most doctors have never seen it, and most of the public has never even heard of it. There are a handful of specialists in just a few teaching hospitals around the country. As a result, little funding is given to researching this cancer to try and find a cure. Only those of us who have looked this disease in the face know of its power and devastation.
Risk factors for soft tissue sarcomas include several inherited genetic conditions. People with genetic mutations responsible for neurofibromatosis type 1, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Gardner’s syndrome and inherited retinoblastoma are at increased risk of sarcoma. Other risk factors include people whose lymph nodes were damaged or removed during previous cancer treatments, and prolonged exposure to vinyl chloride (used in making plastics). While previous radiation treatment may be a risk factor, it is only responsible for about 5% of sarcoma cases.
Soft tissue sarcomas can be difficult to classify, and the only way to get an accurate diagnosis is with a biopsy. A sample of the suspected tumor is taken with a needle (or a scalpel if the tumor is close to the surface) and inspected under a microscope. Images with a CT scan or X-ray are generally taken after diagnosis to determine the size and location of the tumor
Screening and Testing
At this time, it is not possible to prevent the development of a soft tissue sarcoma and no test is available to find sarcoma cells before they begin to grow.
Because sarcomas are rare, oncologists may have treated few patients, if any. Statistics show that sarcoma patients treated at large comprehensive cancer centers where specialized oncologists have more experience with the disease have better outcomes. MD Anderson treats more sarcoma patients than any other cancer hospital, enabling physicians to build on their expertise in an ongoing effort to discover new therapies and diagnostic methods.
Surgery is the most common treatment for soft tissue sarcomas. Advances in surgical limb-sparing techniques have greatly reduced the need for amputations. Only about 5% of sarcoma patients will lose a limb to disease.
Radiation therapy as a stand-alone treatment for sarcoma is not common, and may only be used in patients who aren’t healthy enough for surgery or to ease pain and other symptoms of disease. In some cases, radiation may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor. External beam radiation is not an option for patients with recurrent sarcoma who were previously treated with radiation.
Chemotherapy may be used as a primary treatment for sarcoma or in combination with surgery or radiation. Treating soft tissue sarcomas usually requires a combination of two or more chemotherapy drugs.
(cited from mdanderson.org)
Soft Tissue Leiomyosarcoma
Cutaneous (skin) Leiomyosarcoma
Immunocompromised Host Leiomyosarcoma