Long-term survival of patients with sarcomatoid renal cell cancer treated with chemotherapy
- First Online:
Sarcomatoid renal cell cancer is associated with a very poor prognosis, characterized by rapid progression of advanced disease. We previously reported the outcome of 18 patients with advanced sarcomatoid renal cell cancer treated with a regimen consisting of doxorubicin, 50 mg/m2 and gemcitabine, 1,500–2,000 mg/m2, administered every two weeks with growth factor support (A/G). Among the 18 patients, there were two complete and 5 partial responses and two patients with stable disease of more than 6 months of duration. We now report long-term survival of 4 patients with stage IV sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma treated with this regimen at the 1,500 mg/m2 dose of gemcitabine, and achieving complete response (2 patients), or rendered complete responders following surgery after maximum response (2 patients). The two complete responders are alive, disease free at 6+ and 8+ years after starting A/G, and the 2 patients rendered CR by surgery survived 3½ and 6 years, respectively. Both died of progressive disease, one with clear cell recurrence, one with sarcomatoid recurrence. In summary, this regimen is associated with a high response rate, overall improvement in progression free survival and occasional meaningful long-term survival in a disease expected to be fatal within one year.