BMC Cancer 2022 April 20 [Link]

Barbara Ziółkowska, Bożena Cybulska-Stopa, Dimitrios Papantoniou, Rafał Suwiński

Abstract

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare, aggressive malignancy of the pleural cavity linked to asbestos exposure. The combination of pemetrexed and platinum is a standard first-line therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Despite some progress, almost all MPM patients experience progression after first-line therapy. The second-line treatment is still being under discussion and there are very limited data available on the second-line and subsequent treatments.

Methods: The retrospective analysis included 57 patients (16 females and 41 males) from two Polish oncological institutions treated for advanced mesothelioma between 2013 and 2019. We analysed the efficacy of first-line and second-line therapy: progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), overall response rate (ORR).

Results: In the first-line treatment, 55 patients received pemetrexed-based chemotherapy (PBC) and two cisplatin in monotherapy. Patients’ characteristics at baseline: median age was 64.2 years, ECOG PS ≤ 1 (86.2%), epithelial histology (85.7%). Median PFS and OS were 7.6 months and 14 months, respectively. Patients with ECOG PS ≤ 1 vs > 1 had a longer median OS (14.8 months vs 9.7 months, p = 0.057). One-year OS and PFS were 60.9% and 32.0%, respectively. Disease control rate (DCR) was 82.5%. Response to first-line therapy: PFS ≥ 6 months and PFS ≥ 12 months had a significant impact on median OS. Twelve patients received second-line therapy (seven PBC and five other cytotoxic single agents: navelbine, gemcitabine, or adriamycin/vincristine/methotrexate triplet). Median PFS and OS were 3.7 months and 7.2 months, respectively. DCR was 83%. One-year OS and PFS were 37% and 16.7%, respectively. In the group receiving PBC, OS was prolonged by 4.5 months compared to the non-PBC group (6.0 months vs 10.5 months, p = 0.47).

Conclusion: Patients who benefited from first-line therapy and had prolonged PFS at first-line and achieve PFS longer than 6 months at first-line should be offered second-line treatment. Consideration of retreatment with the same cytotoxic agent could to be a viable option when no other treatment are available.