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      Gemcitabine and docetaxel versus doxorubicin as first-line treatment in previously untreated advanced unresectable or metastatic soft-tissue sarcomas (GeDDiS): a randomised controlled phase 3 trial


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          For many years, first-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma has been doxorubicin. This study compared gemcitabine and docetaxel versus doxorubicin as first-line treatment for advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma.


          The GeDDiS trial was a randomised controlled phase 3 trial done in 24 UK hospitals and one Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) hospital. Eligible patients had histologically confirmed locally advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma of Trojani grade 2 or 3, disease progression before enrolment, and no previous chemotherapy for sarcoma or previous doxorubicin for any cancer. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive six cycles of intravenous doxorubicin 75 mg/m 2 on day 1 every 3 weeks, or intravenous gemcitabine 675 mg/m 2 on days 1 and 8 and intravenous docetaxel 75 mg/m 2 on day 8 every 3 weeks. Treatment was assigned using a minimisation algorithm incorporating a random element. Randomisation was stratified by age (≤18 years vs >18 years) and histological subtype. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients alive and progression free at 24 weeks in the intention-to-treat population. Adherence to treatment and toxicity were analysed in the safety population, consisting of all patients who received at least one dose of their randomised treatment. The trial was registered with the European Clinical Trials (EudraCT) database (no 2009–014907–29) and with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial registry (ISRCTN07742377), and is now closed to patient entry.


          Between Dec 3, 2010, and Jan 20, 2014, 257 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to the two treatment groups (129 to doxorubicin and 128 to gemcitabine and docetaxel). Median follow-up was 22 months (IQR 15·7–29·3). The proportion of patients alive and progression free at 24 weeks did not differ between those who received doxorubicin versus those who received gemcitabine and docetaxel (46·3% [95% CI 37·5–54·6] vs 46·4% [37·5–54·8]); median progression-free survival (23·3 weeks [95% CI 19·6–30·4] vs 23·7 weeks [18·1–20·0]; hazard ratio [HR] for progression-free survival 1·28, 95% CI 0·99–1·65, p=0·06). The most common grade 3 and 4 adverse events were neutropenia (32 [25%] of 128 patients who received doxorubicin and 25 [20%] of 126 patients who received gemcitabine and docetaxel), febrile neutropenia (26 [20%] and 15 [12%]), fatigue (eight [6%] and 17 [14%]), oral mucositis (18 [14%] and two [2%]), and pain (ten [8%] and 13 [10%]). The three most common serious adverse events, representing 111 (39%) of all 285 serious adverse events recorded, were febrile neutropenia (27 [17%] of 155 serious adverse events in patients who received doxorubicin and 15 [12%] of 130 serious adverse events in patients who received gemcitabine and docetaxel, fever (18 [12%] and 19 [15%]), and neutropenia (22 [14%] and ten [8%]). 154 (60%) of 257 patients died in the intention-to-treat population: 74 (57%) of 129 patients in the doxorubicin group and 80 (63%) of 128 in the gemcitabine and docetaxel group. No deaths were related to the treatment, but two deaths were due to a combination of disease progression and treatment.


          Doxorubicin should remain the standard first-line treatment for most patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma. These results provide evidence for clinicians to consider with their patients when selecting first-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma.


          Cancer Research UK, Sarcoma UK, and Clinical Trial Unit Kantonsspital St Gallen.

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          Most cited references29

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          New response evaluation criteria in solid tumours: revised RECIST guideline (version 1.1).

          Assessment of the change in tumour burden is an important feature of the clinical evaluation of cancer therapeutics: both tumour shrinkage (objective response) and disease progression are useful endpoints in clinical trials. Since RECIST was published in 2000, many investigators, cooperative groups, industry and government authorities have adopted these criteria in the assessment of treatment outcomes. However, a number of questions and issues have arisen which have led to the development of a revised RECIST guideline (version 1.1). Evidence for changes, summarised in separate papers in this special issue, has come from assessment of a large data warehouse (>6500 patients), simulation studies and literature reviews. HIGHLIGHTS OF REVISED RECIST 1.1: Major changes include: Number of lesions to be assessed: based on evidence from numerous trial databases merged into a data warehouse for analysis purposes, the number of lesions required to assess tumour burden for response determination has been reduced from a maximum of 10 to a maximum of five total (and from five to two per organ, maximum). Assessment of pathological lymph nodes is now incorporated: nodes with a short axis of 15 mm are considered measurable and assessable as target lesions. The short axis measurement should be included in the sum of lesions in calculation of tumour response. Nodes that shrink to <10mm short axis are considered normal. Confirmation of response is required for trials with response primary endpoint but is no longer required in randomised studies since the control arm serves as appropriate means of interpretation of data. Disease progression is clarified in several aspects: in addition to the previous definition of progression in target disease of 20% increase in sum, a 5mm absolute increase is now required as well to guard against over calling PD when the total sum is very small. Furthermore, there is guidance offered on what constitutes 'unequivocal progression' of non-measurable/non-target disease, a source of confusion in the original RECIST guideline. Finally, a section on detection of new lesions, including the interpretation of FDG-PET scan assessment is included. Imaging guidance: the revised RECIST includes a new imaging appendix with updated recommendations on the optimal anatomical assessment of lesions. A key question considered by the RECIST Working Group in developing RECIST 1.1 was whether it was appropriate to move from anatomic unidimensional assessment of tumour burden to either volumetric anatomical assessment or to functional assessment with PET or MRI. It was concluded that, at present, there is not sufficient standardisation or evidence to abandon anatomical assessment of tumour burden. The only exception to this is in the use of FDG-PET imaging as an adjunct to determination of progression. As is detailed in the final paper in this special issue, the use of these promising newer approaches requires appropriate clinical validation studies.
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            Doxorubicin alone versus intensified doxorubicin plus ifosfamide for first-line treatment of advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma: a randomised controlled phase 3 trial.

            Effective targeted treatment is unavailable for most sarcomas and doxorubicin and ifosfamide-which have been used to treat soft-tissue sarcoma for more than 30 years-still have an important role. Whether doxorubicin alone or the combination of doxorubicin and ifosfamide should be used routinely is still controversial. We assessed whether dose intensification of doxorubicin with ifosfamide improves survival of patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma compared with doxorubicin alone.
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              Gemcitabine and docetaxel in patients with unresectable leiomyosarcoma: results of a phase II trial.

              Few chemotherapy agents are active in leiomyosarcoma (LMS), particularly LMS that has progressed after doxorubicin treatment. We sought to determine the response to gemcitabine plus docetaxel among patients with LMS. Patients with unresectable LMS of uterine (n = 29) or other (n = 5) primary sites who did not respond to zero to two prior chemotherapy regimens were enrolled onto a phase II study of gemcitabine 900 mg/m(2) intravenously (i.v.) on days 1 and 8 plus docetaxel 100 mg/m(2) i.v. on day 8 with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor given subcutaneously on days 9 to 15, delivered every 21 days. Patients with prior pelvic radiation received 25% lower doses of both agents. Gemcitabine was delivered over 30 or 90 minutes in cycles 1 and 2 and by 90-minute infusion in all subsequent cycles. Pharmacokinetic studies assessed in vivo differences in gemcitabine concentrations with different rates of infusion. Thirty-four patients (median age, 55 years; range, 32 to 74 years) have enrolled. Fourteen had received prior pelvic radiation. Sixteen of 34 patients had progressed after doxorubicin-based therapy; 18 had no prior chemotherapy. Among 34 patients, complete response was observed in three patients and partial response in 15, for an overall response rate of 53% (95% confidence interval, 35% to 70%). Seven patients had stable disease. Fifty percent of patients previously treated with doxorubicin responded. Hematologic toxicity was common (neutropenia: grade 3, 15%; grade 4, 6%; thrombocytopenia: grade 3, 26%; grade 4, 3%), but neutropenic fever (6%) and bleeding events (0%) were rare. The median time to progression was 5.6 months (range, 4 to 10 months). Gemcitabine plus docetaxel is tolerable and highly active in treated and untreated patients with LMS.

                Author and article information

                Lancet Oncol
                Lancet Oncol
                The Lancet. Oncology
                Lancet Pub. Group
                1 October 2017
                October 2017
                : 18
                : 10
                : 1397-1410
                [a ]University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
                [b ]UCL Cancer Institute, London, UK
                [c ]The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
                [d ]University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
                [e ]Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow, UK
                [f ]Kantonsspital, St Gallen, Switzerland
                [g ]Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Bern, Switzerland
                [h ]The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
                [i ]The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral, UK
                [j ]The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
                [k ]Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
                [l ]Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, UK
                [m ]Cancer Research UK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre, London, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Dr Beatrice Seddon, London Sarcoma Service, Department of Oncology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, NW1 2PG, UKCorrespondence to: Dr Beatrice Seddon, London Sarcoma ServiceDepartment of OncologyUniversity College London Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustLondonNW1 2PGUK beatrice.seddon@ 123456uclh.nhs.uk
                © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).


                Oncology & Radiotherapy
                Oncology & Radiotherapy


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