Chemotherapy in patients with desmoid tumors: a study from the French Sarcoma Group (FSG)

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Background: Data regarding the role of chemotherapy (CT) in patients with recurrent and/or unresectable desmoid tumors (DTs) are scarce.

Patients and methods: Records of patients with DT who were treated with CT in centers from the French Sarcoma Group were reviewed.

Results: Sixty-two patients entered the study. The two most common locations were extremities (35.5%) and internal trunk (32.5%). Twelve patients (19.5%) were diagnosed with Gardner syndrome. Thirty-seven patients (54.7%) received previously one or more lines of systemic therapies (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: 43.5%, antiestrogens: 43.5% and imatinib: 30.5%). Combination CT was delivered in 44 cases (71%) and single agent in 18 patients (29%), respectively. Thirteen patients (21%) received an anthracycline-containing regimen. The most frequent nonanthracycline regimen was the methotrexate–vinblastine combination (n = 27). Complete response, partial response, stable disease and progressive disease were observed in 1 (1.6%), 12 (19.4%), 37 (59.6%) and 12 (19.4%) patients, respectively. The response rate was higher with anthracycline-containing regimens: 54% versus 12%, P = 0.0011. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 40.8 months. The sole factor associated with improved PFS was the nonlimb location: 12.1 months (95% confidence interval 5.6–18.7) versus not reached, P = 0.03.

Conclusions: CT has significant activity in DT. Anthracycline-containing regimens appear to be associated with a higher response rate.

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