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Trabectedin is a type of chemotherapy medicine for cancer known as an anti-neoplastic. This drug is a naturally occurring compound that is derived from a marine organism Ecteinascidia turbinate. Trabectedin is used for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma. This product is supplied as a sterile lyophilized white to off-white powder for injection. Each single-dose vial has 1 mg of Trabectedin. 

What issoft tissue sarcoma?

Softtissue sarcoma is a rare type of cancer. It begins in the tissues that connect,support, and surround other body structures. There are more than 50 subtypes ofsoft tissue sarcoma that exists. Some of them are more likely to effects thechildren and mostly in adults as well. This condition can happen anywhere inyour body. But, the most common types are in the legs, arms, and abdomen. Asoft tissue sarcoma may not cause any signs and symptoms in its early stages.As the tumor grows, it may cause: 

  • Pain if a tumor presses on nerves or muscles
  • A noticeable lump or swelling

Seek formedical help right away of these occur:

  • Recurrence of a lump that’s been removed
  • A lump of any size that’s located deep within a muscle
  • A lump that is increasing in size or becomes painful

This typeof cancer occurs when cells develop errors in their DNA. The errors make cellsgrow and divide out of control. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumorthat can grow to invade nearby structures. The abnormal cells can spread toother parts of the body. The type of cell that develops the genetic mutationdetermines what type of soft tissue sarcoma you have. 


The following may increase your risk of sarcoma:

  1. Inherited syndromes

A risk of soft tissue sarcoma can be inherited from your parents. 

2. Chemical exposure

Being exposed to certain chemicals may increase the risk of soft tissue sarcomas.

3. Radiation exposure 

Previousradiation treatment for other cancers can increase the risk of soft tissuesarcomas. 

How doesTrabectedin work?

Cancersform when cells within the body increase uncontrollably and abnormally. Thesecells spread and destroy the nearby tissues. Trabectedin works by stopping thecancer cells from growing. It does this by binding to and damaging the DNA inthe cancer cells. This stops the cells from growing.

In mostchemotherapy regimens, doses are administered in courses at several intervals.It is to allow normal cells to recover from the adverse effects of theanticancer medicines between doses. On the other hand, during this period,cancer cells will also recover and start to replicate again. Successfultreatment depends on the administration of the next course of therapy beforecancer has regrown to its previous size. The net effect is to lessen the amountof cancer with each successive course.

Trabectedincan also affect normal and healthy cells. Particularly, those that multiplyquickly are healthy blood cells. This medication is therefore only used totreat soft tissue sarcoma in people who have enough healthy cells in theirblood at the start of treatment. Regular blood tests are needed to monitor thelevels of blood cells.

How touse Trabectedin?

Trabectedinis given by slow infusion into a vein over 24 hours. This is usually givenevery 3 weeks. Dexamethasone is given before treatment with Trabectedin to helpreduce sickness and protect the liver. The treatment is repeated every threeweeks, for as many courses as your specialist feels is essential. The dosage isbased on your medical condition and response. 

Yourdoctor may reduce your dose or delay it if you have certain side effects. Ifyou have any severe side effects, your doctor may stop your treatment with thismedicine. Before each treatment with Trabectedin, you will receive a steroidmedicine to help lessen your risk of getting certain side effects. Your doctorwill let you know how long your treatment will take especially with thisprescription. Your doctor will also do certain tests while you are having thistreatment. It is to check for side effects and to see how you respond to thetreatment. 

What arethe side effects of Trabectedin?

Commonside effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Decrease appetite
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anemia
  • Low platelet count
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Increased ALT and AST 
  • Changes in kidney and liver function blood tests

If theseside effects continue or get worse, call your doctor at once. Also, if otherside effects occur, inform your doctor. 


  • You will not be given this drug if you have a severe allergic reaction to it. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using the medicine, and inform your doctor right away. 
  • Before having this treatment, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions such as liver or kidney problems. 
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, let your doctor know before having this drug. This may harm your unborn baby. You should also not become pregnant while having Trabectedin. 
  • You should not drink alcohol while having this medicine. It may be the reason that your risk of side effects on the liver will increase. 
  • Men being treated with this drug must use a condom to avoid fathering a child during their treatment and for at least 5 months after treatment. There are risks of irreversible infertility associated with Trabectedin. For this reason, men should discuss the possibility of sperm conversation with their doctor before starting treatment. 
  • Trabectedin is not recommended for use in people with severe or uncontrolled infection, high levels of bilirubin, low numbers of white blood cells, and raised liver enzymes or creatinine phosphokinase levels. 
  • This is also should not be used by children or adolescents. 
  • Trabectedin can make you feel weak or tired. Do not use machinery, drive, or do activities that need your alertness until you can do it safely. 
  • Do not have vaccinations or immunizations while having Trabectedin without the consent of your doctor.