Note: Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)
Treatment of patients with recurrent mesothelioma usually utilizes procedures and/or 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 should be considered candidates for phase I and II clinical trials evaluating new biologicals, chemotherapeutic agents, or physical approaches.[1,2,3,4,5] Patients with recurrent mesothelioma who have not received prior chemotherapy are candidates for first-line chemotherapy with cisplatinpemetrexed or cisplatin raltitrexed. (Refer to the Advanced Malignant Mesothelioma (Stages II, III, and IV) section of this summary.) However, patients with recurrent mesothelioma who receive surgery, or at least do not receive chemotherapy as part of the primary treatment and recur subsequently, are candidates for chemotherapy.
In NSCLC, the determination of stage is important in terms of therapeutic and prognostic implications. Careful initial diagnostic evaluation to define the location and to determine the extent of primary and metastatic tumor involvement is critical for the appropriate care of patients.
In general, symptoms, physical signs, laboratory findings, or perceived risk of distant metastasis lead to an evaluation for distant metastatic disease. Additional tests such as bone scans and...
A large randomized study compared pemetrexed to best supportive care in 243 patients who received one prior 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.
Rusch V, Saltz L, Venkatraman E, et al.: A phase II trial of pleurectomy/decortication followed by intrapleural and systemic chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. J Clin Oncol 12 (6): 1156-63, 1994.
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.
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.
Boutin C, Viallat JR, Van Zandwijk N, et al.: Activity of intrapleural recombinant gamma-interferon in malignant mesothelioma. Cancer 67 (8): 2033-7, 1991.
Ong ST, Vogelzang NJ: Chemotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma. A review. J Clin Oncol 14 (3): 1007-17, 1996.
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.