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Gemcitabine maintenance therapy shows potential in metastasized STS

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Patients with aggressive metastasized soft tissue sarcomas (STS) may benefit from gemcitabine maintenance therapy after docetaxel and gemcitabine chemotherapy, according to a study that encourages prospective trials evaluating gemcitabine maintenance.

Patients who had undergone salvage chemotherapy with docetaxel and demcitabine, including one with leiomyosarcoma of the pancreas (patient 1), one with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma of the right femur (patient 2), and one peri-aortic leiomyosarcoma (patient 3), received gemcitabine maintenance therapy until disease progression. Patients were treated outside of clinical trials.

After salvage chemotherapy, 1 patient achieved partial remission, and 2 patients achieved stable disease.

In patient 1, stable disease was maintained for 6 months during gemcitabine maintenance therapy before a rapid progression of hepatic metastases.

In patient 2, maintenance therapy was given for 21 months before being discontinued due to progressive pulmonary metastases.

In patient 3, significant chemotherapy-associated hematotoxicity led to a reduction in gemcitabine dose was by two-thirds. At the time of publication, the patient was still on maintenance therapy and had maintained stable disease with constant pulmonary metastases for 14 months.

Harrer DC, Buschauer S, Sterz U, et al. Gemcitabine Maintenance Therapy in Patients With Metastasized Soft Tissue Sarcomas. Front Oncol. 2021;11:755439. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.755439. PMID: 34970483; PMCID: PMC8712329.