Lung Cancer. Volume 50, Supplement 1, 2005, Pages S18-S19. Available online 12 November 2005. [Link]

G.V. Scagliotti

University of Torino, Department of Clinical & Biological Sciences, Thoracic Oncology Unit, S. Luigi Hospital-Regione Gonzole 10, 10043 Orbassano (Torino), Italy


Pemetrexed is a new cytotoxic agent that is a standard of care for the second-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. It is currently in clinical development for the first-line treatment of NSCLC. In untreated advanced NSCLC, single-agent activity has been demonstrated in phase II trials. Pemetrexed has encouraging response rates and a favorable toxicity profile. Pemetrexed also has promising activity and acceptable toxicity when combined with platinum compounds or gemcitabine. Dietary supplementation with low-dose folic acid and vitamin B12 significantly reduces the incidence and severity of toxicities without compromising the antitumor activity of pemetrexed. With its innovative mode of action, proven efficacy, favorable toxicity profile and convenient administration, pemetrexed represents a new therapeutic option for the treatment of advanced NSCLC.

Keywords: Lung cancer; Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Non-small-cell lung cancer; Pemetrexed; Thoracic cancer