Hyperthermia combined with intra-thoracic chemotherapy and radiotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma

Annals of Surgerical Oncology. 2006 Nov 1; [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Xia H, Karasawa K, Hanyu N, Chang TC, Okamoto M, Kiguchi Y, Kawakami M, Itazawa T.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Background: Prognosis for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains poor and such patients require intensive treatment. Few studies have examined hyperthermia for MPM. The present study investigated the feasibility of hyperthermia combined with weekly chemo-radiotherapy for patients with MPM and estimated the efficacy of this regimen.

Methods: A total of 11 patients (median patient age was 67 and all had pleural effusion) with MPM were enrolled in this study. The treatment regimen comprised of weekly thermo-radiotherapy with intra-thoracic chemotherapy 2–5 times at initiation of treatment. Hyperthermia was performed once per week for ∼60 min. Hemithorax external radiotherapy was administered once weekly on the same day as hyperthermia and just before thermochemotherapy. Median total radiation dose was 6 Gy (range, 2–10 Gy). Chemotherapy was administered into the thoracic cavity through a tube. Chemotherapeutic agents administered were CDDP for seven patients, carboplatinum (CBDCA) for three patients and both CDDP and CBDCA for one patient. Dose of CDDP was 50 mg/body and dose of CBDCA was 200–300 mg m−2. Response rate and median survival time (MST) and palliative effect were investigated.

Results: Complete response was not achieved in any of the 11 patients. Partial response was achieved in three of 11 patients (27.3%), SD in six patients (54.5%) and PD in two patients (18.2%). There was no correlational relationship between thermal parameters and response. MST was 27.1 months. Pleural fluid decreased in all patients after therapy, while all patients displayed improved performance status and could be discharged from hospital. Patients with partial response had a relatively longer survival time than SD or PD. All patients underwent the complete course of treatment and only one of 11 patients developed grade 4 thrombocytopenia.

Conclusion: It was therefore concluded that hyperthermia combined with intra-thoracic chemotherapy using cisplatinum or carboplatinum may be tolerable. This approach appears effective and more acceptable for patients with MPM with pleural effusion than other multi-modality therapy.

Keywords: Malignant pleural mesothelioma hyperthermia, thermo-chemo-radiotherapy, intra-thoracic chemotherapy