Gemcitabine is largely used in the management of sarcomas. We have systematically reviewed all of the fully published trials that investigated a gemcitabine-based regimen in the management of sarcomas and then provided a grade of recommendations and a level of evidence for every recommendation. Because of conflicting results from successive non-randomized phase II trials, gemcitabine activity alone in unselected pretreated soft tissue sarcomas could not be properly assessed. Gemcitabine alone and gemcitabine-docetaxel appeared to both be active in pretreated uterine and non-uterine leiomyosarcoma (1B;I). Gemcitabine-dacarbazine appeared to be active in pretreated unselected soft tissue sarcomas (1B;I). According the GeDDIS phase III trial (not yet fully published), gemcitabine-docetaxel appeared slightly less active than doxorubicine and more toxic than doxorubicine in chemo-naïve metastatic soft tissue sarcoma patients. Because of the absence of controlled randomized trials, the benefit of gemcitabine-docetaxel as an adjuvant treatment in high-grade uterine leiomyosarcoma could not be appropriately assessed. The level of activity of gemcitabine/docetaxel in bone sarcomas cannot be ascertained with the available data. The level of evidence supporting the use of gemcitabine-based regimens in sarcoma management is limited. Confirmatory phase III trials are warranted when phase II trials suggest some preliminary activity.
Keywords: Dacarbazine; Docetaxel; Gemcitabine; Leiomyosarcoma; Uterine sarcoma.
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