1. Efficacy and Safety of Trabectedin or Dacarbazine for Metastatic Liposarcoma or Leiomyosarcoma After Failure of Conventional Chemotherapy: Results of a Phase III Randomized Multicenter Clinical Trial.

J Clin Oncol. 2016 Mar 10;34(8):786-93. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.62.4734. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

Demetri GD, von Mehren M, Jones RL, Hensley ML, Schuetze SM, Staddon A, Milhem M, Elias A, Ganjoo K, Tawbi H, Van Tine BA, Spira A, Dean A, Khokhar NZ, Park YC, Knoblauch RE, Parekh TV, Maki RG, Patel SR.

PURPOSE:This multicenter study, to our knowledge, is the first phase III trial to compare trabectedin versus dacarbazine in patients with advanced liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma after prior therapy with an anthracycline and at least one additional systemic regimen.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive trabectedin or dacarbazine intravenously every 3 weeks. The primary end point was overall survival (OS), secondary end points were disease control-progression-free survival (PFS), time to progression, objective response rate, and duration of response-as well as safety and patient-reported symptom scoring.

RESULTS:A total of 518 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to either trabectedin (n = 345) or dacarbazine (n = 173). In the final analysis of PFS, trabectedin administration resulted in a 45% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death compared with dacarbazine (median PFS for trabectedin v dacarbazine, 4.2 v 1.5 months; hazard ratio, 0.55; P < .001); benefits were observed across all preplanned subgroup analyses. The interim analysis of OS (64% censored) demonstrated a 13% reduction in risk of death in the trabectedin arm compared with dacarbazine (median OS for trabectedin v dacarbazine, 12.4 v 12.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.87; P = .37). The safety profiles were consistent with the well-characterized toxicities of both agents, and the most common grade 3 to 4 adverse effects were myelosuppression and transient elevation of transaminases in the trabectedin arm.

CONCLUSION:Trabectedin demonstrates superior disease control versus conventional dacarbazine in patients who have advanced liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma after they experience failure of prior chemotherapy. Because disease control in advanced sarcomas is a clinically relevant end point, this study supports the activity of trabectedin for patients with these malignancies.

2. Managing advanced soft tissue sarcoma: do we have a mission impossible?

2016, Volume 11, Number 5

Peter Reichardt HELIOS Klinikum Berlin-Buch, Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology, Cancer Center Berlin-Buch, Berlin, Germany

3. Trabectedin in patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma: a retrospective national analysis of the French Sarcoma Group.

Eur J Cancer. 2015 Apr;51(6):742-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2015.01.006. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Le Cesne A, Ray-Coquard I, Duffaud F, Chevreau C, Penel N, Bui Nguyen B, Piperno-Neumann S, Delcambre C, Rios M, Chaigneau L, Le Maignan C, Guillemet C, Bertucci F, Bompas E, Linassier C, Olivier T, Kurtz JE, Even C, Cousin P, Yves Blay J; French Sarcoma Group.

AIM:The French Sarcoma Group performed this retrospective analysis of the 'RetrospectYon' database with data of patients with recurrent advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) treated with trabectedin 1.5 mg/m(2) as a 24-h infusion every three weeks.

METHODS:Patients who achieved non-progressive disease after six initial cycles could receive long-term trabectedin treatment until disease progression.

RESULTS:Overall, 885 patients from 25 French centres were included. Patients received a median of four trabectedin cycles (range: 1-28). The objective response rate was 17% (six complete/127 partial responses) and 50% (n = 403) of patients had stable disease for a disease control rate of 67%. After a median follow-up of 22.0 months, median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 4.4 and 12.2 months, respectively. After six cycles, 227/304 patients with non-progressive disease received trabectedin until disease progression and obtained a significantly superior median PFS (11.7 versus 7.6 months, P<0.003) and OS (24.9 versus 16.9 months, P < 0.001) compared with those who stopped trabectedin treatment. Deaths and unscheduled hospitalisation attributed to drug-related events occurred in 0.5% and 9.4% of patients, respectively.

CONCLUSION:The results of this real-life study demonstrate that treatment with trabectedin of patients with STS yielded comparable or improved efficacy outcomes versus those observed in clinical trials. A long-term treatment with trabectedin given until disease progression is associated with significantly improved PFS and OS.

4. Trabectedin monotherapy after standard chemotherapy versus best supportive care in patients with advanced, translocation-related sarcoma: a randomised, open-label, phase 2 study.

Lancet Oncol. 2015 Apr;16(4):406-16. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70098-7. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Kawai A, Araki N, Sugiura H, Ueda T, Yonemoto T, Takahashi M, Morioka H, Hiraga H, Hiruma T, Kunisada T, Matsumine A, Tanase T, Hasegawa T, Takahashi S.

BACKGROUND:Trabectedin binds to the minor groove of DNA and blocks DNA repair machinery. Preclinical data have shown that trabectedin also modulates the transcription of the oncogenic fusion proteins of translocation-related sarcomas. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of trabectedin as second-line therapy or later for patients with advanced translocation-related sarcoma.

METHODS:We did a multicentre randomised open-label study in Japan. Eligible patients had pathological diagnosis of translocation-related sarcoma, were aged 19 years or older, were unresponsive or intolerant to standard chemotherapy regimens, no more than four previous chemotherapy regimens, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 or 1, adequate bone marrow reserve, renal and liver functions, and had measurable lesions. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by the minimisation method to receive either trabectedin (1·2 mg/m(2) given via a central venous line over 24 h on day 1 of a 21 day treatment cycle) or best supportive care, which was adjusted centrally by pathological subtype. Investigators, patients, and the sponsor were unmasked to the treatment assignment. Progression-free survival and objective responses were assessed by a masked central radiology imaging review. Efficacy was assessed by masked central radiology imaging review. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival for the full analysis set population. Follow-up is ongoing for the patients under study treatment. The study is registered with Japan Pharmaceutical Information Center, number JapicCTI-121850.

FINDINGS:Between July 11, 2012, and Jan 20, 2014, 76 patients were enrolled and allocated to receive either trabectedin (n=39) or best supportive care (n=37). After central review to confirm pathological subtypes, 73 patients (37 in the trabectedin group and 36 in the best supportive care group) were included in the primary efficacy analysis. Median progression-free survival of the trabectedin group was 5·6 months (95% CI 4·1-7·5) and the best supportive care group was 0·9 months (0·7-1·0). The hazard ratio (HR) for progression-free survival of trabectedin versus best supportive care was 0·07 (90% CI 0·03-0·14 and 95% CI 0·03-0·16) by a Cox proportional hazards model (p<0·0001). The most common drug-related adverse events for patients treated with trabectedin were nausea (32 [89%] of 36), decreased appetite (21 [58%]), decreased neutrophil count (30 [83%]), increased alanine aminotransferase (24 [67%]), and decreased white blood cell count (20 [56%]).

INTERPRETATION:Trabectedin significantly reduced the risk of disease progression and death in patients with advanced translocation-related sarcoma after standard chemotherapy such as doxorubicin, and should be considered as a new therapeutic treatment option for this patient population.

FUNDING:Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

5. Interruption versus continuation of trabectedin in patients with soft-tissue sarcoma (T-DIS): a randomised phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol. 2015 Mar;16(3):312-9. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70031-8. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

Le Cesne A, Blay JY, Domont J, Tresch-Bruneel E, Chevreau C, Bertucci F, Delcambre C, Saada-Bouzid E, Piperno-Neumann S, Bay JO, Mir O, Ray-Coquard I, Ryckewaert T, Valentin T, Isambert N, Italiano A, Clisant S, Penel N.

BACKGROUND:The benefit or harm of trabectedin discontinuation in patients with non-progressive soft-tissue sarcoma remains unclear. We report the final analysis of a phase 2 trial investigating the clinical benefit of continuation of trabectedin treatment until progression versus interruption of therapy after six treatment cycles in patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma.

METHODS:For this open-label, non-comparative, multicentre, phase 2 study, eligible adult patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcomas, who had previously received doxorubicin-based chemotherapy and were able to receive trabectedin, were enrolled from 14 centres of the French Sarcoma Group. Trabectedin was administered at a dose of 1·5 mg/m(2) through a central venous line as a 24-h continuous infusion every 3 weeks. After the initial six cycles of trabectedin, patients who were free from progressive disease were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio either to continuous treatment or therapy interruption. Randomisation was done centrally by a computer-generated system using permuted blocks of four patients, stratified by tumour grade and performance status. Patients allocated to the interruption group were allowed to restart trabectedin in case of progressive disease. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 6 months after randomisation, analysed by intention to treat. This study is registered with, number NCT01303094.

RESULTS:In 178 evaluable patients, 91 (51%) patients had not progressed after six cycles. Of these patients, 53 patients were randomly assigned to the two treatment groups: 27 to the continuation group and 26 to the interruption group. Overall, patients in the two groups received a similar median number of trabectedin cycles (continuation group: 11 cycles [range 6-31+] vs interruption group: 11 [range 6-23+]). After randomisation, progression-free survival at 6 months was 51·9% (95% CI 31·9-68·6) in the continuation group versus 23·1% (9·4-40·3) in the interruption group (p=0·0200). The occurrence of treatment-related grade 3 adverse events (four [16%] of 25 patients in the continuation group vs three [14%] of 21 in the interruption group) and grade 4 adverse events (one [4%] vs none) was similar in both groups. The most common grade 3 and 4 toxicities were alanine aminotransferase or aspartate aminotransferase increases (one [4%] in the interruption group vs three [14%] in the continuation group), neutropenia (two [8%] vs two [10%]), and intestinal occlusion (one [4%] vs one [5%]).

INTERPRETATION:We do not recommend trabectedin discontinuation in patients with advanced, doxorubicin-refractory soft-tissue sarcoma who have not progressed after six cycles of treatment.

FUNDING:The French National Cancer Institute (INCa) and PharmaMar SA.

6. Trabectedin clinical cases: use according to indication in diverse clinical scenarios.

Future Oncol. 2015;11(11 Suppl):15-24. doi: 10.2217/fon.15.76.

Grignani G, Martín-Broto J, Schuler M, Reichardt P.

BACKGROUND:Key distinguishing characteristics of trabectedin in the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma are its prolonged tumor control activity in multiple histological subtypes, positive outcomes in translocation-related sarcomas, maintenance of response, option to rechallenge after treatment interruption and lack of cumulative toxicity. Trabectedin is indicated for use in advanced soft tissue sarcoma after failure of anthracyclines and ifosfamide, or as front-line treatment in patients unsuited to receive these agents.

METHODS:In this review, cases studies are presented in which trabectedin was used according to its indication but in diverse clinical settings.

RESULTS:As second-line treatment of uterine leiomyosarcoma, trabectedin produced prolonged tumor control with good quality of life. In treatment of recurrent synovial sarcoma, the best objective response (partial response) and longest disease control (37 months) was achieved under treatment with trabectedin. As neoadjuvant treatment of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma in a patient unsuited to receive doxorubicin-based chemotherapy, trabectedin induced a pathological response with 85% of necrosis.

CONCLUSION:These cases illustrate the broad range of indications for trabectedin in advanced soft tissue sarcoma and highlight how its unique characteristics can be optimized to achieve maximum clinical benefit.

7. Soft tissue sarcomas, a look into the future: different treatments for different subtypes.

Future Oncol. 2014 Jun;10(8 Suppl):s19-27. doi: 10.2217/fon.14.116.

Reichardt P.

Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a heterogeneous group of rare malignancies frequently studied and treated as if they were one and the same disease. Evidence is emerging that distinct histopathological differences between the subtypes can significantly impact on optimal management of patients with STS. For the majority of patients with localized disease, surgery is the treatment of choice, sometimes combined with radiotherapy. For patients with advanced/refractory disease, there are a number of options. The first option is to consider cytotoxic chemotherapy with doxorubicin ± ifosfamide to reduce tumor size and make the tumor more amenable to surgery. If this is not possible, treatment should be aimed at reducing symptoms, improving patients' wellbeing and prolonging life. In this regard, understanding of the different biologies and sensitivities of the various histological subtypes of STS continues to expand, and an increasing number of targeted therapies are becoming available. Examples of more specific treatment options include taxanes in angiosarcoma, and trabectedin in leiomyosarcoma, liposarcoma and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. Although much remains to be learned about these rare malignancies, it is anticipated that small steps taken in recent years will lead to bigger leaps forward in future.

8. Efficacy and safety of trabectedin as an early treatment for advanced or metastatic liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma

Future Oncol. 2014 Jan;10(1):59-68. doi: 10.2217/fon.13.163. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Blay JY, Casali P, Nieto A, Tanović A, Le Cesne A.

AIMS:We aimed to evaluate the effect of prior chemotherapies on the outcomes of patients with liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma treated with trabectedin as a 24-h infusion every 3 weeks.

PATIENTS & METHODS:Data from 129 patients who received trabectedin as second-line treatment following failure with an anthracycline/ifosfamide and those who had received at least two lines of prior chemotherapy were analyzed.

RESULTS:Forty seven patients received one prior regimen (group A) and 82 patients received at least two lines of chemotherapy (group B). A favorable trend in median time to progression (4.4 vs 3.0 months), progression-free survival (4.4 vs 2.6 months) and overall survival (17.4 vs 13.3 months) was found in group A. A trend toward higher overall response rate (6.4 vs 4.9%) and disease control rate (34.0 vs 26.8%) also favored group A. Both groups had equivalent safety profiles.

CONCLUSION:All efficacy outcomes were better in patients who received trabectedin as second-line treatment compared with patients with more extensive prior therapy.

9. Efficacy and safety of trabectedin in patients with advanced or metastatic liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma after failure of prior anthracyclines and ifosfamide: results of a randomized phase II study of two different schedules.

J Clin Oncol. 2009 Sep 1;27(25):4188-96. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.21.0088. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

Demetri GD, Chawla SP, von Mehren M, Ritch P, Baker LH, Blay JY, Hande KR, Keohan ML, Samuels BL, Schuetze S, Lebedinsky C, Elsayed YA, Izquierdo MA, Gómez J, Park YC, Le Cesne A.

PURPOSE:To evaluate the safety and efficacy of trabectedin in a phase II, open-label, multicenter, randomized study in adult patients with unresectable/metastatic liposarcoma or leiomyosarcoma after failure of prior conventional chemotherapy including anthracyclines and ifosfamide.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:Patients were randomly assigned to one of two trabectedin regimens (via central venous access): 1.5 mg/m(2) 24-hour intravenous infusion once every 3 weeks (q3 weeks 24-hour) versus 0.58 mg/m(2) 3-hour IV infusion every week for 3 weeks of a 4-week cycle (qwk 3-hour). Time to progression (TTP) was the primary efficacy end point, based on confirmed independent review of images.

RESULTS:Two hundred seventy patients were randomly assigned; 136 (q3 weeks 24-hour) versus 134 (qwk 3-hour). Median TTP was 3.7 months versus 2.3 months (hazard ratio [HR], 0.734; 95% CI, 0.554 to 0.974; P = .0302), favoring the q3 weeks 24-hour arm. Median progression-free survival was 3.3 months versus 2.3 months (HR, 0.755; 95% CI, 0.574 to 0.992; P = .0418). Median overall survival (n = 235 events) was 13.9 months versus 11.8 months (HR, 0.843; 95% CI, 0.653 to 1.090; P = .1920). Although somewhat more neutropenia, elevations in AST/ALT, emesis, and fatigue occurred in the q3 weeks 24-hour, this regimen was reasonably well tolerated. Febrile neutropenia was rare (0.8%). No cumulative toxicities were noted.

CONCLUSION:Prior studies showed clinical benefit with trabectedin in patients with sarcomas after failure of standard chemotherapy. This trial documents superior disease control with the q3 weeks 24-hour trabectedin regimen in liposarcomas and leiomyosarcomas, although the qwk 3-hour regimen also demonstrated activity relative to historical comparisons. Trabectedin may now be considered an important new option to control advanced sarcomas in patients after failure of available standard-of-care therapies.