Medical Oncology 2015 February [Link]

de Lima VA, Sorensen JB.


There is no well-defined standard third-line chemotherapy for advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). However, combination of carboplatin, liposomised doxorubicin (Caelyx) and gemcitabine (CCG regimen) has revealed noteworthy activity when used as first-line treatment. The aim of this study is to assess efficacy and toxicity profile for patients with MPM receiving CCG regimen as a third-line treatment. Carboplatin (AUC 5), Caelyx (30 mg/m(2)) and Gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2)) day 1, together with Gemcitabine (800 mg/m(2)) day 8, were given in up to six cycles. Patients were unresectable, PS 0-2, and had previously received a first-line platinum-based regimen and either vinorelbine or pemetrexed as second line. Response to treatment was assessed by CT scan using Modified RECIST criteria for mesothelioma. Forty-three patients were treated between 2010 and 2014. Median age was 67 years (47-82), 72 % males, and 79 % had previous asbestos exposure. Ninety per cent had PS 0-1, 58 % had epitheloid subtype and 63 % IMIG stage IV. First-line treatment was platinum and pemetrexed in 42 cases. Second-line treatment was vinorelbine in 42 cases and pemetrexed in one patient. Median lead time from cessation of second-line treatment to start of third CCG was 1 month. Twenty-eight per cent of the patients received six cycles, while treatment was postponed due to toxicities, mainly haematological, in 56 % of cases. No toxicity-related deaths occurred. Partial response (PR) occurred in 14 %, and disease control rate (DCR) was 60 %. Medians of overall survival (OS) from diagnosis and from start of CCG treatment were 25.2 months (18.4-31.5 months) and 6.8 months (5.4-8.4 months), respectively. Progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.1 months (1.7-4.5 months). Third-line CCG revealed a noteworthy efficacy with a DCR of 60.4 %. It was, however, associated with considerable haematological toxicity. Less toxic and more active treatment options are clearly needed.