A two-arm phase II study of temozolomide in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors and other soft tissue sarcomas

Cancer. 2003 Dec 15;98(12):2693-9. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11875.


Background: The authors conducted a two-arm Phase II study of temozolomide to determine its efficacy and toxicity in patients with soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) who had received, had refused, or were not eligible for standard chemotherapy with doxorubicin and ifosfamide (Arm 1) and in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs; Arm 2). Patients with GIST were eligible regardless of prior therapy before imatinib was available.

Methods: Sixty patients were enrolled in the current study, 19 of whom had GISTs and 41 of whom had other STSs. The patients received temozolomide at a dose of 85 mg/m2 orally for 21 days followed by 7 days without treatment. Standard radiographic imaging after every two cycles was used to assess the treatment response.

Results: Of the 39 patients in Arm 1, there was 1 complete response and 1 partial response of 39 evaluable patients, for a total response rate of 5% (95% confidence interval, 0-12%). The responses lasted 7 months and 8 months, respectively. In Arm 2, there was no response in 17 patients. The disease was stable in 22% of the patients with GISTs and 33% of the patients with other STSs. The median overall survival time was 26.4 months in patients with GISTs and 11 months in patients with other STSs. The median time to disease progression was 2.3 months in patients with GISTs and 3.3 months in patients with other STSs. Grade 3 and Grade 4 adverse effects (according to National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria) were rare and included fatigue (eight patients), anemia (six patients), constipation (four patients), neutropenia (four patients), and thrombocytopenia (four patients).

Conclusions: The data from the current study suggest that temozolomide is well tolerated but has only minimal efficacy and a limited role in the treatment of patients with STSs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use*
  • Dacarbazine / administration & dosage
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoma / mortality
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / mortality
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Survival Rate
  • Temozolomide
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Dacarbazine
  • Temozolomide