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The effect of chemotherapy on the different components of advanced carcinosarcomas (malignant mixed mesodermal tumors) of the female genital tract
  1. R. E.N. Van Rijswijk*,
  2. G. Tognon*,
  3. C. W. Burger,
  4. J. P. Baak,
  5. P. Kenemans and
  6. J. B. Vermorken*
  1. * Departments of Medical Oncology,
  2. Gynecology, and
  3. Pathology, Free University Hospital, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Address for correspondence: Jan B. Vermorken MD, PhD, Department of Medical Oncology, Free University Hospital, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The effect of chemotherapy on the different components of uterine and ovarian carcinosarcoma is largely unknown. This report describes six patients with advanced carcinosarcoma, five of whom received 4 cycles of doxorubicin and ifosfamide (AI) directed at the sarcomatous component of the tumor. Responses in these five patients at second-look laparotomy were: one complete response, two partial responses (persistence of only the carcinomatous component), one stable disease, and one progressive disease (both components still present in both cases). Thereafter 4 cycles of a cisplatin-based regimen were scheduled. Response to the cisplatin-containing regimen was only evaluated clinically. The sixth patient (with no macroscopic disease left after initial surgery) received 6 cycles of a cisplatin-based chemotherapy from the onset and was found to be in complete response at relaparotomy. Median progression-free survival for all patients was 15 months and median survival 21 months. A literature survey showed that carcinosarcoma differs from adult soft tissue sarcomas with respect to responsiveness to chemotherapy. Cisplatin and ifosfamide are active as single agents, whereas the response to single-agent doxorubicin seems to be lower. The data suggest, however, that superior response rates and increased survival times are achieved with cisplatin/doxorubicin-based chemotherapy. The sensitivity of carcinosarcoma to cisplatin supports the recent view that carcinosarcoma of the female genital tract is possibly a high grade carcinoma with metaplastic sarcomatous elements.

  • CA 125
  • carcinosarcoma
  • chemotherapy
  • malignant mixed mesodermal tumor
  • review.

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  • Dr. G. Tognon is a visiting fellow from the Istituto Raphael. Calcinato, Brescia, Italy.