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Eur J Cancer. 2001 May;37(7):870-7.

Randomised phase II trial of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (DOXIL/CAELYX) versus doxorubicin in the treatment of advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma: a study by the EORTC Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group.

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Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.


CAELYX/DOXIL, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, has shown antitumour activity and reduced toxicity compared with standard doxorubicin in other tumour types. In this prospective randomised trial, 94 eligible patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) were treated, 50 with CAELYX (50 mg/m(2) by a 1 h intravenous (i.v.) infusion every 4 weeks) and 44 with doxorubicin (75 mg/m(2) by an i.v. bolus every 3 weeks). Histological subtypes were evenly matched, 33% were leiomyosarcoma (CAELYX: 18; doxorubicin: 13). Primary disease sites were well matched. CAELYX was significantly less myelosuppressive, only 3 (6%) patients had grade 3 and 4 neutropenia, versus 33 (77%) on doxorubicin; febrile neutropenia occurred in 7 (16%) patients given doxorubicin, but only 1 (2%) given CAELYX. 37 (86%) patients on doxorubicin had grade 2-3 alopecia, but only 3 (6%) on CAELYX, and the major toxicity with CAELYX was to the skin. Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia with CAELYX was grade 1: 4 (8%) patients, grade 2: 11 (22%) patients, grade 3: 9 (18%) patients and grade 4: 1 (2%) patient. Other non-haematological grade 3 and 4 toxicities were rare. Confirmed responses were observed with both agents: CAELYX: complete response (CR) 1 (uterine), partial response (PR) 4 (response rate (RR) 10%); and doxorubicin: CR 1, PR 3 (RR of 9%); with the best response being stable disease (NC) in 16 and 18 patients, respectively. The reason for the low response rate is unknown, but it may be due partly to a high proportion of gastrointestinal stromal tumours. In conclusion, CAELYX has equivalent activity to doxorubicin in STS with an improved toxicity profile and should be considered for further investigation in combination with other agents such as ifosfamide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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