Survival:9.7 months
Toxicity Grade:4
Hospital:Medical University of Gdansk
Patients: This phase III study involved 243 patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma. The majority of patients (189) were men. These patients ranged in age from 32 to 79 years.

Treatment: Patients were treated with the chemotherapy drug pemetrexed and best supportive care or best supportive care only. Best supportive care provides patients with treatments to maximize their quality of life, but not to specifically treat their cancer. Patients receiving best supportive care are given treatments for conditions such as infection, pain, nausea, or to improve their diet and nutrition.

Toxicity: Grade 3 or 4 toxicities reported in both treatment groups included dyspnea, fatigue, chest pain, tumor pain, hypertension, anorexia, cough, thrombosis/embolism. Patients treated with pemetrexed also reported grade 3 or 4 febrile neutropenia, nausea, vomiting, neutropenia, anemia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia.

Results: The median overall survival was 8.4 months for patients receiving best supportive care and pemetrexed, and 9.7 months for those receiving best supportive care only.

Support: This study was supported by research funds from Eli Lilly & Co., which markets pemetrexed as Alimta.

Correspondence: Dr. Jacek Jassem