Pathological response in children and adults with large unresected intermediate-grade or high-grade soft tissue sarcoma receiving preoperative chemoradiotherapy with or without pazopanib (ARST1321): a multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 2 trial.

Document Type


Publication Date




Journal Title

The lancet oncology

MeSH Headings

Adult, Child, Humans, pazopanib, Sulfonamides, Pyrimidines, Chemoradiotherapy, Sarcoma


BACKGROUND: Outcomes for children and adults with advanced soft tissue sarcoma are poor with traditional therapy. We investigated whether the addition of pazopanib to preoperative chemoradiotherapy would improve pathological near complete response rate compared with chemoradiotherapy alone.

METHODS: In this joint Children's Oncology Group and NRG Oncology multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 2 trial, we enrolled eligible adults (aged ≥18 years) and children (aged between 2 and <18 >years) from 57 hospitals in the USA and Canada with unresected, newly diagnosed trunk or extremity chemotherapy-sensitive soft tissue sarcoma, which were larger than 5 cm in diameter and of intermediate or high grade. Eligible patients had Lansky (if aged ≤16 years) or Karnofsky (if aged >16 years) performance status score of at least 70. Patients received ifosfamide (2·5 g/m

FINDINGS: Between July 7, 2014, and Oct 1, 2018, 81 eligible patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to the pazopanib group (n=42) or the control group (n=39). At the planned second interim analysis with 42 evaluable patients and a median follow-up of 0·8 years (IQR 0·3-1·6) in the pazopanib group and 1 year (0·3-1·6) in the control group, the number of patients with a 90% pathological response or higher was 14 (58%) of 24 patients in the pazopanib group and four (22%) of 18 patients in the control group, with a between-group difference in the number of 90% or higher pathological response of 36·1% (83·8% CI 16·5-55·8). On the basis of an interim analysis significance level of 0·081 (overall one-sided significance level of 0·20, power of 0·80, and O'Brien-Fleming-type cumulative error spending function), the 83·8% CI for response difference was between 16·5% and 55·8% and thus excluded 0. The improvement in pathological response rate with the addition of pazopanib crossed the predetermined boundary and enrolment was stopped. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were leukopenia (16 [43%] of 37 patients), neutropenia (15 [41%]), and febrile neutropenia (15 [41%]) in the pazopanib group, and neutropenia (three [9%] of 35 patients) and febrile neutropenia (three [9%]) in the control group. 22 (59%) of 37 patients in the pazopanib group had a pazopanib-related serious adverse event. Paediatric and adult patients had a similar number of grade 3 and 4 toxicity. There were seven deaths (three in the pazopanib group and four in the control group), none of which were treatment related.

INTERPRETATION: In this presumed first prospective trial of soft tissue sarcoma spanning nearly the entire age spectrum, adding pazopanib to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy improved the rate of pathological near complete response, suggesting that this is a highly active and feasible combination in children and adults with advanced soft tissue sarcoma. The comparison of survival outcomes requires longer follow-up.

FUNDING: National Institutes of Health, St Baldrick's Foundation, Seattle Children's Foundation.