First-Line Aldoxorubicin vs Doxorubicin in Metastatic or Locally Advanced Unresectable Soft-Tissue Sarcoma: A Phase 2b Randomized Clinical Trial

JAMA Oncol. 2015 Dec;1(9):1272-80. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.3101.


Importance: Standard therapy for advanced soft-tissue sarcoma has not changed substantially in decades, and patient prognosis remains poor. Aldoxorubicin, a novel albumin-binding prodrug of doxorubicin, showed clinical activity against advanced soft-tissue sarcoma in phase 1 studies.

Objective: To evaluate efficacy and safety of aldoxorubicin vs doxorubicin in patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma.

Design, setting, and participants: International, multicenter, phase 2b, open-label, randomized study at general community practices, private practices, or institutional practices. Between August 2012 and December 2013, 140 patients with previously untreated locally advanced, unresectable, or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma were screened.

Interventions: Randomization (2:1) to aldoxorubicin 350 mg/m2 (dose equivalent to doxorubicin 260 mg/m2) or doxorubicin 75 mg/m2, administered once every 3 weeks for up to 6 cycles.

Main outcomes and measures: Primary end point was progression-free survival. Secondary end points were 6-month progression-free survival, overall survival, tumor response rate, and safety. All efficacy end points were evaluated by independent and local review.

Results: A total of 126 patients were randomized, and 123 received aldoxorubicin (n = 83) or doxorubicin (n = 40). Median (range) patient age was 54.0 (21-77 years); 42 (34%) had leiomyosarcoma. By independent review, median progression-free survival was significantly improved (5.6 [95% CI, 3.0-8.1] vs 2.7 [95% CI, 1.6-4.3] months; P = .02) with aldoxorubicin compared with doxorubicin, as was the rate of 6-month progression-free survival (46% and 23%; P = .02). Median overall survival was 15.8 (95% CI, 13.0 to not available) months with aldoxorubicin and 14.3 (95% CI, 8.6-20.6) months with doxorubicin (P = .21). Overall tumor response rate (by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1) by independent review was higher with aldoxorubicin than with doxorubicin (25% [20 patients, all partial response] vs 0%). Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was more frequent with aldoxorubicin than with doxorubicin (24 [29%] vs 5 [12%]), but not grade 3 or 4 febrile neutropenia (12 [14%] vs 7 [18%]). No acute cardiotoxic effects were observed with either treatment, although left ventricular ejection fraction less than 50% occurred in 3 of 40 patients receiving doxorubicin.

Conclusions and relevance: Single-agent aldoxorubicin therapy showed superior efficacy over doxorubicin by prolonging progression-free survival and improving rates of 6-month progression-free survival and tumor response. Aldoxorubicin therapy exhibited manageable adverse effects, without unexpected events, and without evidence of acute cardiotoxicity. Further investigation of aldoxorubicin therapy in advanced soft-tissue sarcoma is warranted.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT01514188.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage*
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Doxorubicin / analogs & derivatives
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrazones / administration & dosage
  • Hydrazones / adverse effects
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prodrugs / administration & dosage*
  • Prodrugs / adverse effects
  • Sarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Hydrazones
  • Prodrugs
  • Doxorubicin

Associated data