(HealthDay News) – For patients with metastatic non-adipocytic soft-tissue sarcoma, progressing in spite of previous chemotherapy, pazopanib improves progression-free survival, according to the results of a Phase 3 study published online May 16 in The Lancet.

To investigate the effect of pazopanib in patients with metastatic non-adipocytic soft-tissue sarcoma, Winette T.A. van der Graaf, MD, from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a randomized study in 72 institutions across 13 countries. After failure of standard chemotherapy, patients with angiogenesis inhibitor-naive, metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma, were randomly allocated to receive once-daily 800mg pazopanib (246 patients) or placebo (123 patients).

The investigators found that the median progression-free survival was significantly longer for pazopanib-treated versus placebo-treated patients (4.6 vs. 1.6 months; hazard ratio, 0.31). There was no significant difference in overall survival for patients treated with pazopanib versus placebo (12.5 and 10.7 months, respectively; P=0.25). The most common adverse events were fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, weight loss, and hypertension. For placebo and pazopanib, the median relative dose intensity was 100 and 96 percent, respectively.

“Pazopanib is an active drug for patients in the heterogeneous group of non-adipocytic soft-tissue sarcomas,” the authors write. “Pazopanib is the first active oral agent for patients with nongastrointestinal stromal tumor soft-tissue sarcomas and is a meaningful addition to the treatment armamentarium for patients with this rare group of tumors.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which funded the study and manufactures pazopanib.

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