Phase II Study of Gemcitabine Plus Sirolimus in Previously Treated Patients with Advanced Soft-Tissue Sarcoma: a Spanish Group for Research on Sarcomas (GEIS) Study
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Gemcitabine plus sirolimus enhances apoptosis in vitro and increases anti-tumor efficacy in vivo in soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) models.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the activity and toxicity of the combination of gemcitabine plus sirolimus in patients with STS after failure of standard chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
Advanced STS patients, previously treated with doxorubicin and/or ifosfamide, were included in this single-arm phase II study. Patients received gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 intravenously (iv) at 10 mg/m2/min on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks plus sirolimus 5 mg daily orally (po). After enrolment of the first 12 patients, the study protocol was amended due to toxicity and the starting dose of sirolimus was reduced to 3 mg daily po. Archival tumor samples were analyzed for extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) expression and correlated with outcome. The primary endpoint was progression-free rate (PFR) at 3 months.
From May 2012 to May 2013, 28 patients were enrolled at eight centers. PFR at 3 and 6 months was 44% and 20%, respectively, with 12 patients being free of progression at 3 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 1.85 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73–2.97) and median overall survival (OS) was 9.2 months (95% CI 5.8–12.5). No responses were observed. The most common grade 3–4 hematologic toxicities were neutropenia (48%) and leukopenia (41%) and the most frequent grade 3 non-hematologic toxicities were infection (18.5%), transaminitis (15%), fatigue (11%), and pneumonitis (11%). ERK1/2 expression was significantly correlated with PFS (p = 0.026).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This work was supported by Grant TRA-163 from the Spanish Ministry of Health.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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