Biologic Therapy & Chemotherapy – Medical University of Lubeck
This interesting clinical trial for pleural mesothelioma took place over 15 years ago in Germany. The researchers there wanted to see if chemotherapy with whole body hyperthermia would be helpful in mesothelioma.
Whole body hyperthermia is a kind of cancer treatment in where the patient’s body is exposed to high temperatures (up to 113°F). Research has shown that high temperatures can kill cancer cells and spare healthy cells. In this trial, the researchers heated the patients to 107.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The chemotherapy used consisted of three standard chemo drugs: ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide.
Twenty-seven patients were given this treatment. Median survival for all patients was 17.8 months. One patient died from infection that was likely caused or contributed to by the chemo. The researchers concluded by saying that their results were “promising.”
Today, hyperthermia is still being studied but has fallen out of favor probably because it is difficult for drug companies to patent such an approach.
Patients: This Phase II study involved 27 patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Treatment: The treatment consisted of a combination of hyperthermia with three chemotherapy drugs – ifosfamide (IFEX), carboplatin (paraplatin), and etoposide (vepesid).
Toxicity: There was one death associated with progressive disease and sepsis. Other toxicities included hematologic (grades 1-4), gastrointestinal (grades 1-3), nausea and vomiting (grades 1-3), hepatic (grades 1-2), skin (grade 3), and renal (grades 1-2). In addition, there were two cardiac complications during hyperthermia.
Results: Median survival was 76.6 weeks (17.8 months).
Correspondence: A. Bakhshandeh, MD
See all conventional treatment results for mesothelioma.