Background: Patients with recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma are considered to have a very poor prognosis, and new regimens are needed to improve the prognosis in this setting. Gemcitabine, a nucleoside antimetabolite, is an analog of deoxycytidine which mainly inhibits DNA synthesis through interfering withDNA chain elongation and depleting deoxynucleotide stores, resulting in gemcitabine-induced cell death. Here we performed a systemic analysis to evaluate gemcitabine based chemotherapy as salvage treatment for patientswith recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma.
Methods: Clinical studies evaluating the impact of gemcitabine based regimens on response and safety for patients with osteosarcoma were identified by using a predefined search strategy. Pooled response rates (RRs) of treatment were calculated.
Results: In gemcitabine based regimens, 4 clinical studies which included 66 patients with recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma were considered eligible for inclusion. Systemic analysis suggested that, in all patients, pooled RR was 12.1% (8/66) in gemcitabinebased regimens. Major adverse effects were hematologic toxicity, including grade 3 or 4 anemia, leucopenia and thrombocytopenia in gemcitabine based treatment. No treatment related death occurred in gemcitabine based treatment.
Conclusion: This systemic analysis suggests that gemcitabine based regimens are associated with mild activity with good tolerability in treating patients with recurrent or refractory osteosarcoma.