Improving the clinical management of patients with different sarcoma histotypes

  • Secretary

    Roberta Maestro


  • Clinical Coordinator

    Paolo Casali


The term sarcoma identifies a heterogeneous group of rare neoplasms of a mesenchymal nature that involve connective tissues, such as muscles, adipose tissue, joints, bones, and blood vessels. Over 60 different types of sarcoma are divided into two macro-categories: bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas.

Globally, sarcomas account for about 1% of adult cancers, and 15% of pediatric cancers and five-year survival of patients is about 64%. Among the factors that affect the prognosis, in addition to factors intrinsic to the tumour (location, size, grading, surgical radicality), a determining role is played by the specific competence of the structure to which the patient refers.

An international study has shown that more than one-third of the diagnoses of sarcoma made in non-accredited centres is incorrect or inaccurate, leading to inappropriate therapeutic choices. The misleading diagnoses are partly attributable to poor experience and the lack of complementarity of morphological diagnosis with molecular investigations. On the one hand, there is the need to activate more accurate diagnostic-prognostic pathways. On the other, there is the need to have therapeutic strategies that take into account the fact that the term “sarcoma” does not identify a single pathology but numerous biologically and clinically different entities, and it is, therefore, essential to implement therapeutic approaches declined for individual histological variants.

Some countries have launched ad hoc programmes for sarcomas aimed at integrating research and innovative diagnostic, diagnostic and therapeutic paths in this context. The ACC Sarcoma Working Group and the Italian Sarcoma Group (ISG), the cooperative clinical group on sarcomas active in Italy, are ideal for this approach in Italy.

The primary objective of the project of the Sarcoma Working Group of ACC, coordinated by Roberta Maestro of the CRO of Aviano, is the implementation of a molecular platform that interfaces with ISG for the development of innovative diagnostic activities and translational research aimed at improving the clinical management of patients affected by different sarcoma histotypes. We will use molecular profiling techniques and investigations of genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics of the latest generation (next-generation sequencing or massively parallel sequencing) to develop the project.


  • Preclinical
  • Clinical