Premature phase II study of amrubicin as palliative chemotherapy for previously treated malignant pleural mesothelioma

Thoracic Cancer 2021 April 8 [Link]

Kageaki Watanabe, Yusuke Okuma, Shoko Kawai, Makoto Nagamata, Yukio Hosomi


Background: Treatment options for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) are limited. Anthracyclines are considered key drugs for treating MPM. However, their use is limited by severe cardiac toxicities. Amrubicin (AMR) is a next-generation anthracycline that is commonly used to treat lung cancer. Here, we conducted a phase II trial of this drug in patients with previously treated MPM.

Methods: Eligible patients with MPM having adequate organ function and a performance status of 0-2 were enrolled after disease progression following pemetrexed/platinum therapy. Patients received 35 mg/m2 AMR on days 1-3 every three weeks until tumor progression or the appearance of unacceptable toxicities. The primary endpoint was the objective response rate. Median progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), number of treatment cycles, and adverse events were evaluated as secondary endpoints.

Results: This trial was discontinued because of low accrual. From September 2013 to July 2018, five patients with MPM were enrolled. Stable disease (SD) was observed in three patients (60%), and progressive disease was noted in two patients (40%). The median PFS was 2.4 (range, 1.2-11.2) months, and the median OS was 9.1 (range, 6.2-22.0) months. The median number of treatment cycles was three (range, 2-11). Grade 1/2 toxicities were observed in all patients. Grade 3/4 neutropenia was observed in four patients (80%), but there were no cases of febrile neutropenia.

Conclusions: Despite the absence of the responders, the observation of SD in three patients suggests that AMR could have potential for treating MPM.