Treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma

Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2007 Apr;34(4):520-6. [Link]

Yusa T.

Chiba Pleural Tumor Study Group.


In Japan, it is predicted that mesothelioma will rapidly increase in the future. Malignant pleural mesothelioma that accounts for approximately 90% of mesothelioma as a whole has a median survival time of approximately nine months which is considered a poor prognosis. As for the treatment of this disease,extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy/decortication are available for those patients who can be surgically operated on. However, since a complete cure rate is low when only surgical treatment is performed, generally a multimodality treatment is performed wherein chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are combined. For chemotherapy, a large-scale randomized phase III study demonstrated that a treatment using two agents: pemetrexed, which is a new multitargeted antifolate, and cisplatin is effective. Pemetrexed will be the drug of first choice for mesothelioma in the future. As other treatment methods, chemohyperthermia, treatments using various kinds of cytokines and angiogenesis inhibitors, genetic treatment and photodynamic therapy have been attempted. The current treatment results for this disease are very poor, and there has been a strong demand for establishing an effective treatment method.