Over the last several years, the systemic treatment landscape for dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS) has notably expanded. Historically, systemic therapy options have been limited to cytotoxic chemotherapy agents, including doxorubicin, ifosfamide, gemcitabine, and docetaxel, that were shown to have efficacy in unselected populations of patients with soft tissue sarcomas. More recently, however, there have been phase II and III trials establishing clinical benefit of the cytotoxic agents trabectedin and eribulin along with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor pazopanib in patients with advanced liposarcoma and DDLPS. Additionally, there are several investigational targeted therapies that have incorporated advances in the understanding of DDLPS disease biology, exploiting the fact that nearly all such tumors include highly amplified expression of MDM2 and CDK4. Recent clinical trials have supported the benefit of the CDK4 inhibitor abemaciclib and the nuclear export inhibitor selinexor and support continued development of anti-MDM2 therapies, with particular attention to the bone marrow toxicity and resultant thrombocytopenia that has thus far limited their use. In contrast, the checkpoint inhibitors pembrolizumab and nivolumab remain of questionable benefit, although these immunotherapy drugs may have a role when combined with other therapeutic agents. Ongoing phase III trials will clarify the role of these novel agents. Future directions include directly comparing current standard-of-care options and newer therapies, developing synergistic combinations of novel agents, and evaluating their role in patients with localized DDLPS.
Keywords: CDK4; Chemotherapy; Dedifferentiated liposarcoma; Liposarcoma; MDM2; Metastatic.