Impact of relatively new chemotherapeutic agents on the outcome of Egyptian patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma

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Purpose: Patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) are well known to have poor response to chemotherapy. The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of new chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of Egyptian MPM patients.

Patients and methods: The first study was a non-randomised, open-label trial. It included 34 eligible patients who were assigned to receive either cisplatin–pemetrexed or pemetrexed alone if cisplatin was contraindicated for a maximum of eight cycles. In the second trial, 21 chemo-naive patients with histologically proven advanced MPM were included. They received cisplatin and raltitrexed for a maximum of six cycles.

Results: In the first trial, the median age was 43.5 years (range 25–69), partial response (PR) was achieved in 37.5%, stable disease (SD) in 50%. Median time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS) were 7 and 14 months, respectively. Survival at 1 year was 64.7%. No toxicity was observed in 17.6% of patients and grade 3–4 toxicity was evident in 11.8% (neutropenia), 8.8% (anaemia) and 2.9% (vomiting and diarrhoea) of patients. In the second trial, median age was 46 years (range 19–71), PR was achieved in 23.2% and one CR was reported. SD was noticed in 61.9% of patients. Median TTP and OS were 6 and 12 months, respectively. Survival at 1 year was 51.6%.

Conclusion: Both cisplatin–pemetrexed and cisplatin–raltitrexed are effective and safe regimens in the treatment of MPM.

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