Soft Tissue Sarcoma with Jonathan C. Trent, MD, PhD and Shreyaskumar R. Patel, MD: Case 1 - Episode 4

Shreyaskumar R. Patel, MD: Additional Chemotherapy in This Patient

Would you consider additional chemotherapy in this patient?

The patient has gone through a combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel in the frontline and adriamycin and dacarbazine as the second-line regimen. The patient also had pazopanib as the targeted therapy in the third line. Important things to address at this time, and it should be a mutual decision between the patient family and the treating team on what the goals are, are that this patient has an incurable tumor and fourth-line and beyond therapies are going to have marginal benefit that are not likely to be durable. The choice as to whether one would offer therapy or not becomes a mutual decision.


CASE: Soft-Tissue Sarcoma (Part 1)

Rachel F is a 58-year-old school teacher from Roanoke, Virginia. Her medical history is notable for mild hypertension and total knee replacement in 2011

  • In March of 2013, she presented to her PCP with abdominal fullness and distension of several months’ duration; physical exam showed mild abdominal discomfort on palpation; she denied any recent weight loss
  • Initial abdominal sonography was inconclusive; subsequent CT scan showed a heterogeneously enhancing retroperitoneal mass along segment I of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and central necrosis
  • She underwent contrast-enhanced CT with coronal and sagittal reconstructions, which showed encasement of the aorta and multiple hepatic metastases
  • CT guided biopsy of the mass showed leiomyosarcoma that was immunohistochemically positive for desmin, smooth muscle actin, and vimentin, with a high proliferative rate (Ki67 > 60%)
  • She underwent chemotherapy with gemcitabine and docetaxel for a total of 6 cycles, and experienced a minor response. Therapy was discontinued however, in November 2013 due to cumulative toxicity

Follow-up CT scan in January 2014 showed progression at multiple sites; at the time of follow up, her ECOG performance status was 1, with renal and hepatic function within normal limits

  • She underwent six cycles of chemotherapy with anthracycline and dacarbazine, and her disease stabilized

In September of 2014 she returns for follow-up, unable to work with increasing fatigue and abdominal pain, and her CT scan was consistent with progressive disease

  • She received treatment with pazopanib at 800 mg daily for metastatic disease
  • Patient tolerated the treatment well, with mild fatigue and diarrhea, and her symptoms improved

After 4 months of therapy, she presents with worsening abdominal pain and declining performance status

  • CT showed extensive progression of the primary tumor and hepatic metastases
  • At progression, CBC, liver, and renal function were within normal limits, ECOG performance status was 2