A retrospective analysis of malignant pleural mesothelioma patients treated either with chemotherapy or best supportive care between 1990 and 2005; A single institution experience

Lung Cancer. 2006 Dec 14; [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Muzaffer Metintasa, Guntulu Aka, Sinan Erginela, Fusun Alatasa, Huseyin Yildirima, Emel Kurta and Selma Metintasb

aDepartment of Chest Diseases, Osmangazi University Medical Faculty, Turkey
bDepartment of Public Health, Osmangazi University Medical Faculty, Eskişehir, Turkey


The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety profile of chemotherapy (CT) compared to best supportive care (BSC) in patients with histopathologically confirmed diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma (DMPM). A total of 161 patients between 1990 and 2004 treated either with CT (109 patients) or BSC (52 patients) depending on patients choice were evaluated in this analyses. Chemotherapy protocols included a combination of cisplatin, mitomycin C and recombinant interferon alpha 2a (CM-In), or cisplatin, mitomycin C and ifosfamide (CMI), or cisplatin and gemcitabine (CG).

We found a significant difference in the median survivals of the patients with CT compared to BSC, 11.3 months versus 8.0. Objective response rate was 28/109 (25.7%) with 3.7% of complete response rate. Stable disease rate was 39/109 (35.8%). There was a significant difference between median survivals of patients with objective response (17 months) and median survivals of patients with progressive diseases (6 months) and also with stable diseases (16 months). There was a significant difference between the stable disease and the progressive disease. Stages 3 and 4 patients of epithelial cell type having received chemotherapy live longer than those not having received chemotherapy (12 months versus 4). There was no significant difference between the survivals of the different chemotherapy regimens. The toxicity with CT regimens were mild and well-tolerated.

We conclude that CT prolongs survival compared to BSC in patients with DMPM. Survivals of patients with objective response prolong considerably with CT compared BSC. We observed that stages 3 and 4 patients with epithelial cell type got benefit from CT. Especially, of epithelial cell type stages 1 and 2 should receive multimodal treatment.

Keywords: Mesothelioma; Therapy; Chemotherapy; Best supportive care; Prognosis