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

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2000;45(2):177-81. doi: 10.1007/s002800050027.


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/m(2) 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/m(2) 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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Chondrosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Chondrosarcoma / pathology
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / pharmacology
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Osteosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine