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Curated Journal Articles on Mesothelioma

How does the timing of chemotherapy affect outcome following radical surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma?

Lung Cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2016 October [Epub 2016 July 22] [Link]

Sharkey AJ, O’Byrne KJ, Nakas A, Tenconi S, Fennell DA, Waller DA

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
There is little evidence regarding the use of chemotherapy as part of multimodality treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). We aimed to determine whether, in those patients fit for chemotherapy, a delay in this treatment affected survival.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We analysed postoperative variables of 229 patients undergoing either extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) (81 patients) or extended pleurectomy-decortication (EPD) (197 patients) for MPM at a single centre. There was no standard protocol for additional chemotherapy and varied with referral centre. Outcome was compared between 4 chemotherapy strategies: true adjuvant therapy, neo-adjuvant therapy, therapy reserved until evidence of disease progression in those otherwise fit in the post-operative setting, and those unfit for chemotherapy.
RESULTS:
There was no effect of the timing of chemotherapy on overall or progression free survival in patients fit enough for treatment (p=0.39 and p=0.33 respectively). However delaying chemotherapy until evidence of disease progression in patients with non-epithelioid disease had a detrimental effect on overall survival (OS), and on progression free survival (PFS) in lymph node positive patients (15.6 vs. 8.2 months p=0.001, and 14.9 vs. 6.0 months p=0.016). Further analysis of 169 patients receiving platinum/pemetrexed as first line treatment, showed similar results; there was no effect of the timing of chemotherapy on OS or PFS (p=0.80 and p=0.53 respectively) and an improved OS in patients with non-epithelioid disease, and improved PFS in those with lymph node metastases, if chemotherapy was given in the immediate adjuvant setting (p=0.001 and 0.038) when therapy was not delayed until disease progression.
CONCLUSION:
Our results suggest that the timing of additional chemotherapy may be important in those with a poorer prognosis on the basis of cell type and nodal stage. In these patients additional postoperative chemotherapy should not be delayed.

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