British Journal of Cancer. 2014 June 10. [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Beretta GD, Botta M, Bruzzone A, Ceresoli GL, Degiovanni D, Dipietrantonj C, Favaretto AG, Giordano L, Grosso F, Mencoboni M, Pasello G, Piccolini E, Ripa C, Santoro A, Simonelli M, Zucali PA.


The incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in elderly patients is increasing. There are no specific guidelines for their management.Methods:The clinical records of elderly patients (⩾70 years old) with MPM referred from January 2005 to November 2011 to six Italian Centres were reviewed. Age, gender, histology, International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) stage, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG-PS), Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and treatment modalities were analysed and correlated to overall survival (OS).Results:In total, 241 patients were identified. Charlson Comorbidity Index was ⩾1 in 92 patients (38%). Treatment was multimodality therapy including surgery in 18, chemotherapy alone in 180 (75%) and best supportive care in 43 cases (18%). Chemotherapy was mainly pemetrexed based. Median OS was 11.4 months. Non-epithelioid histology (HR 2.32; 95% CI 1.66-3.23, P<0.001), age ⩾75 years (HR 1.44; 95% CI 1.08-1.93, P=0.014), advanced (III-IV) stage (HR 1.47; 95% CI 1.09-1.98, P=0.011) and CCI⩾1 (HR 1.38; 95% CI 1.02-1.85, P=0.034) were associated to a shorter OS. Treatment with pemetrexed was associated with improved OS (HR 0.40; 95% CI 0.28-0.56, P<0.001).Conclusions:Non-epithelioid histology, age ⩾75 years, advanced IMIG stage and presence of comorbidities according to CCI were significant prognostic factors in elderly patients with MPM. Treatment with pemetrexed-based chemotherapy was feasible in this setting. Prospective dedicated trials in MPM elderly patients selected according to prognostic factors including comorbidity scales are warranted.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 10 June 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.312