Background: Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD), a formulation with pharmacokinetic differences with respect to doxorubicin (DXR), might benefit patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) pretreated with DXR.
Patients and methods: Patients with measurable and progressive STS received PLD at 35 mg/(2) every 3 weeks. Quality of life before and during treatment was assessed with EORTC QLQ-C30.
Results: Twenty-eight patients, 22 DXR-pretreated, were given 140 cycles (median 3, range 1-18). Activity in 27 patients (5 GIST): one complete and one partial remission (both non-GIST and without prior DXR), 12 stabilizations and 13 progressions (response rate 7.4%, 95% CI: 0-17%). Grade 3 toxicity: palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (19% of patients), stomatitis (4%) or cutaneous (4%). Neutropenia grade>/=3 was detected in 16% of patients. Median relative dose intensity was 95%. Progression-free rate at 3 and 6 months was, respectively, 48 and 22%, median progression-free survival 5.8 months and median overall survival 8.7 months. QLQ-C30 at baseline and at weeks 6-11 in 23 and 13 patients, respectively, showed good reliability and validity. Quality of life did not seem to worsen during therapy.
Conclusions: PLD did not induce objective remissions in 22 STS patients pretreated with DXR, but progression-free rate figures support the use of this agent in patients who have not progressed under a DXR-containing regimen. The toxicity observed was comparable to that of other PLD schedules.