[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pemetrexed has emerged as standard chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).
MPMs at two Finnish University Hospitals during 7 years (2000-2006) were reviewed in order to evaluate the treatments, survival and prognostic factors. The results in two periods (before pemetrexed use in 2000-2002 and with pemetrexed in 2003-2006) were compared.
Data were collected from the individual patient records retrospectively, and analysed.
Altogether 197 patients were diagnosed with following histologies: 136 (69%) epithelioid, 19 (10%) sarcomatoid, 17 (9%) mixed, 25 (13%) not specified; 141 (72%) patients received treatment (five extrapleural pneumonectomy, 36 pleurectomy/decortication, 126 chemotherapy). Median survival was 12.9 months and the 1-, 2- and 3-year survivals were 51.8%, 21.8% and 12.1%, respectively. Univariate analysis showed no significant difference in survival between the patients diagnosed before or during the pemetrexed era (P = 0.124). The patients receiving pemetrexed or other chemotherapy had median survivals of 16.7 and 15.3 months, respectively. The independent prognostic factors for survival were histology and asbestos exposure. Non-epithelioid histology yielded 17 times higher risk of dying than epithelioid. Asbestos exposure doubled the risk of dying, but only in patients diagnosed in 2003-2006.
Pemetrexed is beneficial for selected patients, but it has not changed the outcome of the whole MPM population as much as perhaps anticipated. Patient groups with various treatments or symptomatic care only reached survival results comparable to those reported in chemotherapy trials, thus emphasising the need for better subtyping of mesothelioma and individualising the treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with current cytotoxic agents is at its best able to only slow down the progression of the disease, while no curative treatment is known. Novel antiangiogenetic agents such as Bevacizumab have been expected to bring about a change in the treatment and prognosis of this disease. Two randomized studies have been conducted with Bevacizumab, whereby it was observed to make the therapeutic results more effective when combined with a cytotoxic platinum agent in a selected patient group. In our opinion the current scientific evidence does not yet support the use of Bevacizumab as the standard therapy for lung cancer.