Feasibility and efficacy of gemcitabine and docetaxel combination chemotherapy for bone and soft tissue sarcomas: Multi-institutional retrospective analysis of 134 patients

Kazuhiro Tanaka, Susumu Joyama, Hirokazu Chuman, Hiroaki Hiraga, Hideo Morioka, Hideki Yoshikawa, Masami Hosaka, Mitsuru Takahashi, Tadahiko Kubo, Hiroshi Hatano, Mitsunori Kaya, Junya Toguchida, Yoshihiro Nishida, Akihito Nagano, Hiroshi Tsumura, Yukihide Iwamoto

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Bone and soft tissue sarcomas (BSTS) are rare malignant tumors. Recently, the combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel (GD) was shown to have activity as second-line setting in BSTS. However, the efficacy as first-line and adjuvant settings and precise profiles of adverse events in Japanese patients are not known yet. In the present study, the feasibility and efficacy of GD in patients with BSTS were investigated. Methods: Patients with BSTS treated with GD in our institutions were retrospectively analyzed. Information regarding clinical features, adverse events, and outcome was collected and statistically studied. Factors related to survival were analyzed using log-rank test and Cox proportional hazard regression method. Results: A total of 134 patients were analyzed. GD was carried out as adjuvant setting in 9, first-line in 23, second-line in 56, and third-or-greater line in 46 patients. The response rate (RR) for all patients was 9.7%. RR for the patients treated as adjuvant or first-line setting was 18.8%, whereas that as second-or-greater line was 6.9%. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of all patients were 4.8 (95% CI 3.5-6.1) and 16.4 (95% CI 9.8-22.9) months, respectively. Survival tended to be better in the patients treated as first-line than in those treated as second-or-greater line. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that history of prior chemotherapy (p=0.046) and response to GD (p=0.009) was significantly associated with PFS and OS, respectively. The leucopenia and neutropenia were the most frequent adverse events, and grade 3 or 4 leucopenia and neutropenia were observed in 69.4 and 72.4% of the patients. Grade 2 or 3 pneumonitis was observed in one (0.7%) and four (3.0%) patients, respectively. All the patients with pneumonitis had experienced prior chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Conclusions: GD used as both first- and second/later line is effective chemotherapy for a proportion of patients with advanced BSTS. Higher response rate and better outcome was achieved in chemotherapy-naïve patients. This regimen is associated with high incidence of severe hematological toxicity, as well as the risk of severe pneumonitis, especially in pre-treated patients. GD is promising for further analysis by phase III study for the patients with BSTS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number306
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 8


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Adverse events
  • Docetaxel
  • Gemcitabine
  • Sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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