Researchers in The Netherlands say it may be possible to deliver faster mesothelioma chemotherapy without doing any additional damage to the kidneys.
If they are right, it could make mesothelioma treatment more accessible and convenient for patients.
Most malignant mesothelioma patients will have chemotherapy. The most common type of chemotherapy is by infusion. Each session takes several hours.
Every mesothelioma patient undergoing chemotherapy faces the possibility of kidney damage. That possibility can even limit how much medicine doctors can use.
But a new Dutch study finds that faster mesothelioma chemotherapy may be as safe for the kidneys as standard chemotherapy.
Analyzing Faster Mesothelioma Chemotherapy
The study included 230 lung cancer patients who had chemotherapy. Some of the study subjects had non-small cell lung cancer. Some had small-cell lung cancer. And some had pleural mesothelioma, the most aggressive lung-related cancer.
About half of the patients had regular chemotherapy with cisplatin. Cisplatin is a platinum-based drug usually given along with Alimta for mesothelioma patients.
It took three hours for the patients in the “regular chemotherapy” group to complete a session.
A second group got faster mesothelioma chemotherapy in just one hour. The Dutch doctors looked for acute kidney injury (AKI) in both groups. They also watched for a decrease in eGFR, a measure of kidney function.
“There was no significant difference in renal function between rapid infusion of cisplatin and regular infusion of cisplatin,” writes researcher Eveline S Mense, PharmD, in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.
Chemotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma
Chemotherapy is currently the most effective way to treat pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma patients get the best results with a combination of mesothelioma and surgery. But even patients who are not candidates for surgery can usually have chemotherapy.
Some patients also benefit from emerging mesothelioma treatments like targeted radiation and immunotherapy.
While chemotherapy can be effective, it can also be inconvenient, especially if a patient lives far away from the infusion center.
The Dutch team says faster mesothelioma chemotherapy could make treatment easier on patients.
They conclude, “A 1-hour infusion of cisplatin is a safe and feasible method, which may potentially shorten duration of hospital admittance and enable treating patients in the outpatient setting.”
Mense, ES, et al, “The effect of rapid infusion of cisplatin on nephrotoxicity in patients with lung carcinoma”, December 21, 2018, Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jcpt.12781