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Ann Oncol. 2012 Feb;23(2):501-8. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr066. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

Gemcitabine in advanced angiosarcoma: a retrospective case series analysis from the Italian Rare Cancer Network.

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Department of Cancer Medicine, Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, Italy.



Angiosarcoma is a highly aggressive soft tissue sarcoma. Responses to anthracyclines plus/minus ifosfamide, and taxanes alone or in combination with gemcitabine are well documented. Very few data are available on gemcitabine as a single agent.


We retrospectively reviewed all cases of advanced progressive angiosarcoma treated with gemcitabine as a single agent (1000 mg/m(2) i.v. every week for 3 weeks every 4 weeks), at Istituto Nazionale Tumori and within the Italian Rare Cancers Network from January 2008 to November 2010.


Twenty-five patients [mean age: 52 years; radiation therapy (RT)-related: 8] received gemcitabine. Best tumor response by RECIST was as follows: complete response = 2, partial response = 14, stable disease = 2, progressive disease = 7 cases, for an overall response rate (PR + CR) of 68%. Six of eight post-RT angiosarcomas responded to treatment. Median overall survival (OS) was 17 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 7 months (range 1-40 months). One patient with a locally advanced thyroid angiosarcoma became resectable after 5 months of gemcitabine, with <10% residual viable tumor cells seen on surgical specimen. Overall, gemcitabine was well tolerated.


Gemcitabine is active in both RT- and non-RT-related angiosarcoma, with dimensional and possibly long-lasting responses. A formal phase II study on gemcitabine as a single agent is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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