Background: There are limited data about the role of chemotherapy in patients with advanced chondrosarcomas. Methods: The medical charts of 180 patients with advanced chondrosarcomas having received chemotherapy in 15 participating institutions between 1988 and 2011 were reviewed. Results: Median age was 52 years. Sixty-three percent of patients had conventional chondrosarcoma and 88% had metastatic disease. Combination chemotherapy was delivered in 98 cases (54.5%). One hundred and thirty-one patients (73%) received an anthracycline-containing regimen. Using RECIST, the objective response rate was significantly different according to histological subtype, being 31% for mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, 20.5% for dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma, 11.5% for conventional chondrosarcoma and 0% for clear-cell chondrosarcoma (P = 0.04). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.7 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 3-6.5]. Performance status (PS) ≥2, number of metastatic sites ≥1 and single-agent regimen were independently associated with poor PFS. Median overall survival (OS) was 18 months (95% CI 14.5-21.6). PS, number of metastatic sites and palliative surgery were independently associated with OS. Conclusions: Conventional chemotherapy have very limited efficacy in patients with advanced chondrosarcoma, the highest benefit being observed in mesenchymal and dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma. These data should be used as a reference for response and outcome in the assessment of investigational drugs in advanced chondrosarcoma.
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