BMC Cancer 2015 July 9 [Link]

Ak G, Metintas S, Akarsu M, Metintas M.



We aimed to evaluate the efficiency and safety of cis/carboplatin plus gemcitabine, which was previously used for mesothelioma but with no recorded proof of its efficiency, compared with cis/carboplatin plus pemetrexed, which is known to be effective in mesothelioma, in comparable historical groups of malignant pleural mesothelioma.


One hundred and sixteen patients received cis/carboplatin plus pemetrexed (group 1), while 30 patients received cis/carboplatin plus gemcitabine (group 2) between June 1999 and June 2012. The two groups were compared in terms of median survival and adverse events to chemotherapy.


The mean ages of groups 1 and 2 were 60.7 and 60.8 years, respectively. Most of the patients (78.1 %) had epithelial type tumors, and 47 % of the patients had stage IV disease. There was no difference between the two groups in terms of age, gender, asbestos exposure, histology, stage, Karnofsky performance status, presence of pleurodesis, prophylactic radiotherapy, second-line chemotherapy and median hemoglobin and serum albumin levels. The median survival time from diagnosis to death or the last day of follow up with a 95 % confidence interval was 12 ± 0.95 months (95 % CI: 10.15-13.85) for group 1 and 11.0 ± 1.09 months (95 % CI: 8.85-13.15) for group 2 (Log-Rank: 0.142; p = 0.706). The median survival time from treatment to death or the last day of follow-up with a 95 % confidence interval was 11.0 ± 0.99 months (95 % CI: 9.06-12.94) for group 1 and 11.0 ± 1.52 months (95 % CI: 8.02-13.97) for group 2 (Log-Rank: 0.584; p = 0.445). The stage and Karnofsky performance status were found to be significant variables on median survival time by univariate analysis. After adjusting for the stage and Karnofsky performance status, the chemotherapy schema was not impressive on median survival time (OR: 0.837; 95 % CI: 0.548-1.277; p = 0.409). The progression free survival was 7.0 ± 0.61 months for group I and 6.0 ± 1.56 months for group II (Log-Rank: 0.522; p = 0.470). The treatment was generally well tolerated, and the side effects were similar in both groups.


The study indicates that platinum-based gemcitabine is effective and a safe schema in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Further research should include large randomized phase III trials comparing these agents.