Doxil for soft tissue sarcoma – pro

Handsome doctor talking with his patient for the annual check-up

Doxorubicin has been used for soft tissue sarcoma(STS) since the first report in 1972, and more recently, its pegylated form has also been studied. A study by Judson et al, found that it had has equivalent activity to doxorubicin in STS with an improved toxicity profile. In this randomized phase II trial, Doxil (50 mg/m2 every four weeks) was compared to unencapsulated doxorubicin (75 mg/m2 every three weeks). Although Doxil was well tolerated and appeared to have similar efficacy compared to doxorubicin, the response rates in both arms were low, 10 and 9 percent, respectively. This is not a very encouraging response rate. Grenadier et al, however,  raised an issue of response rates possibly not correlating with long term survival. NCCN does list Doxil under single drug options for STS.

Alexander I. Spira and David S. Ettinger, The Use of Chemotherapy in Soft-Tissue Sarcomas he Oncologist  August 2002   vol. 7  no. 4  348-359

Judson I, Radford JA, Harris M et al. Randomised phase II trial of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (DOXIL/CAELYX) versus doxorubicin in the treatment of advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma: a study by the EORTC Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group. Eur J Cancer 2001;37:870877.

Chidiac T, Budd GT, Pelley R et al. Phase II trial of liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil) in advanced soft tissue sarcomas. Invest New Drugs 2000;18:253259.

Grenader T, Goldberg A, Hadas-Halperin I, Gabizon A. Long-term response to pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcomas. Anticancer Drugs 2009; 20:15., Soft TIssue Sarcoma, SARC-E, 1.

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