CHICAGO – Maintenance chemotherapy is life-prolonging for youth with high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma, finds a trial of 371 patients aged 0 to 21 years who had completed standard intensive therapy.
The 5-year rate of overall survival was 86.5% for those who received maintenance therapy with the combination of low-dose intravenous vinorelbine and oral cyclophosphamide, compared with 73.7% for those who did not, translating to a near halving of the risk of death (hazard ratio, 0.52; P = .0111). The regimen was well tolerated.
In an interview at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, lead study author Gianni Bisogno, MD, PhD, discussed the risk-benefit profile of maintenance chemotherapy and the practice-changing nature of the new data. Dr. Bisogno, a professor at the University Hospital of Padova in Italy and chair of the European Paediatric Soft tissue Sarcoma Study Group, also described plans for a new trial that will explore alternate maintenance schedules and collaboration with colleagues in North America to further improve pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma outcomes.