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Gemcitabine in soft tissue or bone sarcoma resistant to standard chemotherapy: a phase II study

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Purpose: To assess the efficacy of gemcitabine in patients with a variety of sarcomas that have failed to respond or escaped Adriamycin- and ifosfamide-based chemotherapy. Patients and methods: A group of 18 symptomatic heavily pretreated patients with sarcomas of bone or soft tissue received one induction course of gemcitabine at a dose of 1000 mg/m2 per week for 7 consecutive weeks, followed by 1 week rest. Response to the induction course was assessed by interview and by repeated ancillary tests. If no progression was observed, maintenance by gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 per week for 3 weeks every 28 days was given until failure was clinically or radiologically evident. Results: A total of 51 cycles of gemcitabine were given including 18 cycles of induction. A mean of 3.6 postinduction cycles were given to nine patients. The treatment was well tolerated by the patients. One partial response (leiomyosarcoma) and one minimal response (angiosarcoma) were observed, yielding a true objective response rate of 5.5%. An additional six patients achieved stabilization of disease (chondrosarcoma and osteosarcoma), yielding an overall progression-free rate of 44%. The median time to progression was more than 27 weeks. Clinical benefit response was observed only in those who also achieved a progression-free state. Conclusion: Gemcitabine was found to be effective in achieving stabilization and even a minimal response of soft tissue or bone sarcoma refractory to standard chemotherapy.

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Received: 10 June 1999 / Accepted: 7 September 1999

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Merimsky, O., Meller, I., Flusser, G. et al. Gemcitabine in soft tissue or bone sarcoma resistant to standard chemotherapy: a phase II study. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 45, 177–181 (2000).

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