Advanced Sarcoma – Keytruda plus Adriamycin


Anthracyclines is a class of drugs used in cancer chemotherapy. A wildly used Anthracycline drug is Doxorubicin also known as Adriamycin.

These drugs are used to treat many cancers, including Sarcomas, Leukemias, Lymphomas, Breast, Stomach, Uterine, Ovarian, Bladder cancer and Lung cancers.

Anthracycline-based therapy is the standard first-line treatment for most patients with advanced and metastatic sarcomas.

Multiple trials have attempted to show improved outcomes in sarcoma patients over Adriamycin which is given alone yet each has failed to demonstrate improved outcomes.

About the Study

The study evaluated the safety and efficacy of Adriamycin in combination with Keytruda in patients with advanced sarcoma.

All patients were not treated with Anthracyclines before to their advanced disease.

This phase 2 study was performed at a single, academic sarcoma specialty center.

Patients with all sarcoma subtypes were allowed to enroll with the exception of Osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and Alveolar and Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma.


A total of 37 patients were treated in the combined phase 1/2 trial.

  • Almost 1 in 5 (19%) of patients responded to the combination and their disease had stopped from growing and/or had shrunken
  • Median time until the disease had progressed under the treatment was 8.1 months
  • Median survival was 27.6 months
  • 2 of 3 patients with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma and 2 of 4 patients with dedifferentiated liposarcoma had durable partial responses.

Adverse Events

Adriamycin plus Keytruda was well tolerated without significant unexpected toxic effects.


In this clinical trial, Adriamycin in combination with Keytruda was well tolerated.

The median time until the disease had progressed and surviival observed compared favorably with prior published studies.

Further studies are warranted, especially those focusing on undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma and dedifferentiated liposarcoma.

The best treatment for a cancer patient is to get the most advanced cancer drugs in advanced stages of development. There, the hope and the chance to extend life go far beyond the standard protocols.

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Sarcoma - Keytruda combined with Adriamycin
Sarcoma – Keytruda combined with Adriamycin

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