RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Efficacy of pegylated-liposomal doxorubicin in the treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma after failure of standard chemotherapy.

PURPOSE: To determine the efficacy and safety of pegylated-liposomal doxorubicin in patients with AIDS and Kaposi's sarcoma (AIDS-KS) who experienced failure of standard chemotherapy.

METHODS: Fifty-three patients with advanced AIDS-KS who experienced disease progression or intolerable toxicities while receiving standard doxorubicin/bleomycin/vincristine (ABV) or bleomycin/vincristine (BV) chemotherapy were identified from a cohort of patients who were then treated with pegylated-liposomal doxorubicin. Patients received 20 mg/m2 pegylated-liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil; Sequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Menlo Park, CA) every 3 weeks.

RESULTS: Nineteen patients (36%) had a partial response (PR) and one patient had a clinical complete response (CCR). The median duration of response and time (from study entry) to treatment failure were 128 and 134 days, respectively. Of 28 patients who experienced disease progression while receiving combination regimens that contained standard doxorubicin, the PR rate was 32%, which suggests that the pegylated-liposomal encapsulation increases the therapeutic effect of doxorubicin. Patients obtained clinical benefits such as flattening of lesions (48%), improved lesion color (56%), relief of pain (45%), and loss of edema (83%). Forty-nine percent of patients had more than one clinical benefit. The most common adverse effect was leukopenia, which occurred in 40% of patients. Only 15% of patients had nausea and/or vomiting, none of which was severe; 9% experienced alopecia, also generally mild.

CONCLUSION: Pegylated-liposomal doxorubicin offers a new alternative for treatment of patients who have experienced failure of standard chemotherapy for AIDS-KS.

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