Background: Sarcomatoid carcinomas (SCs) are rare tumors that may arise in the lung, accounting for 0.4% of non–small-cell lung cancers; the prognosis is poor. Only few retrospective small-size series have studied the efficacy of chemotherapy (CT) for metastatic SC.
Methods: Multicenter study of patients with advanced or metastatic SC who received first-line CT. Clinical characteristics at baseline, response to first-line CT (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were retrospectively collected.
Results: Ninety-seven patients were included. Median age was 62 (54–72) years. The majority of patients were men (70%), white (84%), and smokers (84%). Overall, 73% of patients received first-line platinum-based CT. At first tumor evaluation, 69% of patients experienced progression, 31% had disease control, and 16.5% had partial response. Partial response was observed in 20% of patients receiving platinum-based CT, and in none of those receiving non–platinum-based CT (p = 0.018). Median PFS was 2.0 months (confidence interval [CI] 95%: 1.8–2.3). PFS was not statistically different between patients receiving or not receiving a platinum-based CT. Median OS was 6.3 months (CI 95%: 4.7–7.8). There was a trend toward better OS for patients treated with platinum-based CT (7.0 months [CI 95%: 4.9–9.0] versus 5.3 months [CI 95%: 2.8–7.6]; p = 0.096). In multivariate analysis, disease control at first evaluation (hazard ratio = 0.38 [CI 95%: 0.21–0.59]) and at platinum-based CT (hazard ratio = 0.92 [CI 95%: 0.85–0.99]) was associated with better OS.
Conclusion: SC is associated with poor prognosis and high rate of resistance to conventional first-line CT. New therapeutic strategies are needed, based on better knowledge of the carcinogenesis of SC.