Randomized phase IIA trial of gemcitabine compared with bleomycin plus vincristine for treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma in patients on combination antiretroviral therapy in western Kenya

Naftali W. Busakhala, Paul J. Waako, Matthew Robert Strother, Alfred Kipyegon Keter, Gabriel Kimutai Kigen, Fredrick Chite Asirwa, Patrick J. Loehrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is a spindle cell tumor resulting from growth dysregulation in the setting of infection with human herpes virus-8 (also called KS herpes virus). Advanced KS is characterized by poor responses to antiretroviral therapy and some of the chemotherapy readily accessible to patients in low-resource areas. Gemcitabine induced partial and complete regression of AIDS-associated KS (AIDS-KS) in 11 of 24 patients in a pilot study. The current study compares the antimetabolite gemcitabine with the standard care bleomycin and vincristine (BV) in the treatment of chemotherapy-naïve patients with AIDS-KS in a resource-limited setting. Patients and Methods: Patients with persistent or progressive KS despite treatment with combined antiretroviral therapy were randomly assigned to receive gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 or bleomycin 15 IU/ m2 and vincristine 1.4 mg/m2 given twice weekly. The main end point was objective response by bidirectional measurement, adverse events, and quality of life after three cycles of chemotherapy. Results: Of 70 participants enrolled, 36 received gemcitabine and 34 received BV. Complete response was achieved in 12 patients (33.3%) in the gemcitabine arm and six (17.6%) in the BV arm (P = .175). The partial response rate was 52.8% (n = 19) in the gemcitabine arm and 58.8% (n = 20) in the BV arm. Both study arms reported similar neurologic and hematologic adverse events; there was statistically significant baseline to post-treatment improvement in health-related quality-of-life scores. Conclusion: The results of this randomized, phase IIA trial demonstrate gemcitabine activity in chemotherapy-naïve patients with AIDS-KS, on the basis of response rates, adverse events, and health-related quality-of-life scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Global Oncology
Volume2018
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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