What condition does Trabectedin treat?

Trabectedin is a type of chemotherapy medicine known as an anti-neoplastic. This drug is used for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma. This is in the class of medications called alkylating agents that slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.

How does Trabectedin work?

Cancers form when cells within the body increase uncontrollably and abnormally. These cells spread and destroy the nearby tissues. Trabectedin works by stopping the cancer cells from growing. It does this by binding to and damaging the DNA in the cancer cells. This stops the cells from growing.

In various chemotherapy treatments, doses are given at several intervals. It is to let normal cells recover from the adverse effects of the anticancer medications between prescriptions. On the other hand, throughout this time, cancer cells will start to reproduce again. Effective treatment depends on the management of the next course of cure before cancer has regrown to its previous size. The net effect is to lessen the amount of cancer with each successive course.

Trabectedin can also affect normal and healthy cells. Particularly, those that multiply quickly are healthy blood cells. This medication is therefore only used to treat soft tissue sarcoma in people who have enough healthy cells in their blood at the start of treatment. Regular blood tests are needed to monitor the levels of blood cells.

How to use Trabectedin?

Trabectedin is given by slow infusion into a vein over 24 hours. This is usually given every 3 weeks. Dexamethasone is given before treatment with Trabectedin to protect the liver and help reduce sickness. The treatment is repeated every three weeks, for as many courses as your specialist feels is essential. The recommended dose will depend on your medical condition and response. 

Your doctor may reduce your dose or delay it if you have certain side effects. If you have any severe side effects, your doctor may stop your treatment with this medicine. Before each treatment with Trabectedin, you will receive a steroid medicine to help lessen your risk of getting certain side effects. Your doctor will let you know how long your treatment will take especially with this prescription. Your doctor will also do certain tests while you are having this treatment. It is to check for side effects and to see how you respond to the treatment. 

What are the possible side effects of Trabectedin?

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Decrease appetite
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Insomnia

What are the precautions in taking Trabectedin?

  • You will not be given this drug if you have a severe allergic reaction to it.
  • 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. 
  • Do not drink alcohol while having this medicine. It may be the reason that your risk of side effects on the liver will increase. 
  • Trabectedin is not recommended for use in people with severe or uncontrolled infection, low numbers of white blood cells, high levels of bilirubin, and creatinine phosphokinase levels or raised liver enzymes. 
  • Do not have vaccinations or immunizations while having Trabectedin without the consent of your doctor.