Randomized trial of paclitaxel versus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin for advanced human immunodeficiency virus-associated Kaposi sarcoma: evidence of symptom palliation from chemotherapy.

Cianfrocca M, Lee S, Von Roenn J, Tulpule A, Dezube BJ, Aboulafia DM, Ambinder RF, Lee JY, Krown SE, Sparano JA.

Cancer. 2010 Aug 15;116(16):3969-77. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25362.

BACKGROUND: Paclitaxel and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) are active cytotoxic agents for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated Kaposi sarcoma (KS). A randomized trial comparing the efficacy and toxicity of paclitaxel and PLD was performed, and the effects of therapy on symptom palliation and quality of life were determined. METHODS: Patients with advanced HIV-associated KS were randomly assigned to receive paclitaxel at a dose of 100 mg/m2 intravenously (iv) every 2 weeks or PLD at a dose of 20 mg/m2 iv every 3 weeks. The KS Functional Assessment of HIV (FAHI) quality of life instrument was used before and after every other treatment cycle. RESULTS: The study included 73 analyzable patients enrolled between 1998 and 2002, including 36 in the paclitaxel arm and 37 in the PLD arm; 73% of patients received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and 32% had an undetectable viral load (<400 copies/mL). Treatment was associated with significant improvements in pain (P=.024) and swelling (P<.001). Of the 36 patients who reported that pain interfered with their normal work or activities at baseline, 25 (69%) improved. Of the 41 patients who reported swelling at baseline, 38 (93%) improved. Comparing the paclitaxel and PLD arms revealed comparable response rates (56% vs 46%; P=.49), median progression-free survival (17.5 months vs 12.2 months; P=.66), and 2-year survival rates (79% vs 78%; P=.75), but somewhat more grade 3 to 5 toxicity for paclitaxel (84% vs 66%; P=.077). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with either paclitaxel or PLD appears to produce significant improvements in pain and swelling in patients with advanced, symptomatic, HIV-associated KS treated in the HAART era.

PMID: 20564162

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.