How effective is Dioxil in treating sarcoma?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother was diagnosed with some type of rare sarcoma.  Her doctor has recommended trying a new drug, Dioxil.  How effective is this drug on this type of cancer?

Expert Answer

Senior Editor Melanie Haiken, who is responsible for's coverage of cancer, general health, and family finance, discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions.

It's very hard to answer a question about a drug's effectiveness because this depends on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer and other factors. Doxil, a formulation of doxorubicin encapsulated in "stealth" liposomes, is considered one of the first line treatments for Kaposi's Sarcoma. Doxil is an anti-cancer antibiotic. The encapsulation in liposomes improves the ability of the drug to get close to the tumor and to keep the body's immune system from eliminating the drug. This allows it to circulate through the body eliminating cancer cells for a longer time. Discuss with your doctor the prognosis for your mother's sarcoma and the anticipated effectiveness of this chemotherapy agent.