Gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel for pediatric relapsed/refractory sarcomas

Jonathan L. Metts, Adina L. Alazraki, Dana Clark, Ernest K. Amankwah, Karen J. Wasilewski-Masker, Bradley A. George, Thomas A. Olson, Thomas Cash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory sarcomas have poor outcomes and need novel therapies that provide disease control while maintaining an acceptable quality of life. The activity and toxicity of gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel in combination has not been reported in pediatrics. Procedure: We reviewed the records of fifteen relapsed/refractory patients and one treatment-naïve patient who received gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel at our institution. Results: Sixteen patients (median age 13.5 years, range 3–19 years) received 53 cycles of gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel. Twenty-nine cycles (55%) resulted in ≥Grade 3 toxicity, with nonhematologic Grade ≥3 toxicities occurring in only eight of 53 cycles (15%). Patients received red blood cell and platelet transfusions in 23% and 4% of cycles, respectively. Grade ≥3 infectious toxicities occurred in 4% of cycles. Of 14 patients with measurable disease, there were no complete responses (CR), one partial response (PR; 7%), and six patients (43%) with stable disease (SD; median SD: 4.5 months, range: 2–19 months). In total, 31% of the patients derived clinical benefit (CR + PR + SD ≥ 4 months). Median time to progression was 72 days with a 4-month progression-free survival of 31% ± 12% and 1-year overall survival of 19% ± 10%. With a median follow-up for all 16 patients of 21 months from the first treatment with gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel, one (6%) remains alive with disease. Conclusions: Gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel is a relatively safe regimen with mainly hematologic toxicities. It offers a well-tolerated, palliative option providing clinical benefit in a subset of patients. A phase I trial of this combination is underway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27246
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • gemcitabine
  • nab-paclitaxel
  • refractory
  • relapsed
  • sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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