Promising Treatment for Rare Cancer

Promising Treatment for Rare Cancer

Myoepithelial carcinoma is a rare cancer that mainly affects the salivary glands but can also affect other parts of the body including skin, bone, and visceral organs. The cancer generally responds poorly to chemotherapy.

In an article published online on October 13 in Cancer, Niraj Shenoy, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., reports the successful treatment of a patient with aggressive myoepithelial carcinoma, with a specific genetic abnormality. The cancer had originated in the left kidney and had formed a very large mass compressing the surrounding organs and blood vessels and had also metastasized into the liver. Dr. Shenoy and colleagues administered a chemotherapy regimen typically used to treat patients with Ewing sarcoma, a malignancy with a similar genetic abnormality.

The regimen dramatically reduced the life-threatening tumor bulk. More than a year following the diagnosis, the now-22-year-old male patient is doing well and has no symptoms. The finding indicates that the Ewing sarcoma chemotherapy regimen can be effective in treating this rare cancer.

Dr. Shenoy is an assistant professor of medicine at Einstein and attending physician in oncology at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care.

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