Recurrent Malignant Mesothelioma
Treatment of patients with recurrent malignant mesothelioma usually utilizes procedures and agents not previously employed in the initial treatment attempt. No standard treatment approaches have been proven to improve survival or control symptoms for a prolonged period of time. These patients are candidates for phase I and II clinical trials evaluating new biologicals, chemotherapeutic agents, or physical approaches.[1-6] Patients with recurrent malignant mesothelioma who have not received chemotherapy previously are candidates for first-line chemotherapy with cisplatin pemetrexed or cisplatin raltitrexed. (Refer to the Advanced Malignant Mesothelioma (Stages II, III, and IV) section of this summary.) However, patients with recurrent malignant mesothelioma who undergo surgery, or at least do not receive chemotherapy as part of the primary treatment and recur subsequently, are candidates for chemotherapy.
A large, randomized study compared pemetrexed with best supportive care in 243 patients who received one previous regimen of chemotherapy that did not include pemetrexed.[Level of evidence: 1iiA] No survival benefit was shown in patients who received pemetrexed, although the progression-free survival rate, time-to-progression, and the response rates favored the pemetrexed arm.
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent malignant mesothelioma. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
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- Markman M, Kelsen D: Efficacy of cisplatin-based intraperitoneal chemotherapy as treatment of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 118 (7): 547-50, 1992. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Zucali PA, Ceresoli GL, Garassino I, et al.: Gemcitabine and vinorelbine in pemetrexed-pretreated patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Cancer 112 (7): 1555-61, 2008. [PUBMED Abstract]
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- Gregorc V, Zucali PA, Santoro A, et al.: Phase II study of asparagine-glycine-arginine-human tumor necrosis factor alpha, a selective vascular targeting agent, in previously treated patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. J Clin Oncol 28 (15): 2604-11, 2010. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Jassem J, Ramlau R, Santoro A, et al.: Phase III trial of pemetrexed plus best supportive care compared with best supportive care in previously treated patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma. J Clin Oncol 26 (10): 1698-704, 2008. [PUBMED Abstract]