The addition of olaratumab to doxorubicin-based combination chemotherapy for patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) and good performance status may be worth consideration according to researchers reported at The Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) 2018 Annual Meeting in Rome, Italy. Their findings suggest that the addition of olaratumab to a doxorubicin-based doublet may be safe and effective in this patient population.1

The researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with advanced STS treated at a single institution over a 12 month period. They identified 12 consecutive patients treated with olaratumab plus a doxorubicin-based doublet regimen and 24 consecutive patients treated with a doxorubicin-based doublet regimen without olaratumab.

Doxorubicin was combined with either ifosfamide, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, or dacarbazine, according to the authors. They found that adverse events (odds ratio [OR] = 0.64) and clinical adverse events (OR 0.51) were lower in the olaratumab group. In addition, the study showed no difference in total hematologic adverse events between the 2 groups. The study showed that initial responses to treatment were similar between both groups.

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The researchers found that 67% of patients treated with olaratumab achieved stable disease compared with 71% of patients in the control arm. However, 17% of patients treated with olaratumab experienced a partial response compared to 13% of patients in the control arm. The investigators concluded that while the addition of olaratumab to a doxorubicin-based doublet appears safe and beneficial, the study sample is small. They noted that prospective clinical trials are ongoing to help better assess whether outcomes in patients receiving olaratumab have improved outcomes.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the definition of “OR”.


  1. Espejo A, Glorou V, Subhawong T, et al. Safety and efficacy of alartumab added to doxorubicin-based combination chemotherapy in the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS).  Presented at: CTOS 2018 Annual Meeting; Rome, Italy: November 14-17. Poster 110.