Chemotherapy – Istituto Clinico Humanitas – Treatment Details
This 2006 study from Italy was testing a treatment that today has become one part of the standard of care for pleural mesothelioma patients. The combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed had been previously tested in mesothelioma patients. In this experiment, the researchers wanted to find out if carboplatin (a similar drug) was as effective as cisplatin when combined with pemetrexed.
Patients were also given folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation because pemetrexed is an antifolate and patients need these vitamins.
This was a phase II clinical trial which meant that the researchers wanted to find out if the treatment actually worked and how it compared to other treatments.
A total of 102 patients were put on this clinical trial. Median overall survival time was 12.7 months. Toxicity was reported as “mild”, with neutropenia and anemia the most frequent side-effects.
The researchers concluded that “overall survival were similar to the results achieved with the standard regimen of pemetrexed and cisplatin.”
Patients: This phase II study involved 102 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma that were not candidates for curative surgery. The median patient age was 65, ranging from 38 to 79. Seventy-six were men and 26 were women.
Treatment: All patients were treated with the chemotherapy drugs pemetrexed and carboplatin. They also were given supplements of folic acid and Vitamin B12.
Toxicity: Grade 4 toxicicites reported were anemia was reported in one patient, thrombocytopenia in 2, and neutropenia in 11 (2 of which were febrile). Grade 3-4 nausea/vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea occurred in a few patients. The most common toxicity was nausea/vomiting.
Results: The medial survival time was 12.7 months. At a 14.2 month follow-up, 47 patients were still alive, 26 of whom did not have evidence of disease progression.
Correspondence: Giovanni Luca Ceresoli, M.D.
See all conventional treatment results for mesothelioma.