Mesothelioma: treatment and survival of a patient population and review of the literature

Anticancer Research. 2005 Sep-Oct;25(5):3671-6. [Link]

Stathopoulos J, Antoniou D, Stathopoulos GP, Rigatos SK, Dimitroulis J, Koutandos J, Michalopoulou P, Athanasiades A, Veslemes M.

SOLCA Study Group and First Department of Medical Oncology, Errikos Dunant Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Background: Our purpose was to evaluate the survival of patients with pleural and intraperitoneal malignant mesothelioma and, particularly, to estimate the efficacy of chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy and surgery. A review of the literature with respect to these parameters is included.

Patients and Methods: Thirty-five patients with malignant mesothelioma (28 with pleural and 7 with intraperitoneal) were enrolled. Twenty-eight patients underwent chemotherapy, 7/35 radiation and 9/35 surgery (2 with pleural and 7 with abdominal disease). Combination chemotherapy included cisplatin-gemcitabine, cisplatin (or carboplatin) with premetrexed and doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide.

Results: In 2/28 patients with pleural mesothelioma the tumor was excised and in 7 with intraperitoneal disease, surgical therapy was palliative and there was survival prolongation. Radiotherapy was only palliative. Chemotherapy produced a very low response: 2/28 (7.14%) patients achieved a partial response. The median survival was 17 months, 4-year survival, 24.4% and 5-year survival, 12.12%. No serious toxicity was observed.

Conclusion: Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and intraperitoneum is a slow-growing disease which is indicated by the long survival, despite the failure of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.