Background: The incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is expected to increase due to delayed control of occupational exposure to asbestos in Japan. We investigated the use of triplet combination chemotherapy with cisplatin (CDDP), gemcitabine (GEM) and vinorelbine (VNR) for the treatment of Japanese patients with MPM. Methods: From December 2000 to August 2003, 12 patients received the following regimen: CDDP 40 mg/m2, GEM 800 mg/m2 and VNR 20 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 every 4 weeks. Among the 12 patients, six selected patients underwent an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EP) after a median of three cycles of triplet chemotherapy. Results: The overall response rate for all patients and the response rate for chemotherapy-naive cases were 58 and 67%, respectively. The median survival time and survival rate at 2 years for all patients were 11 months and 50%, respectively. The 2-year survival rates for the patients with and without EP were 83.3 and 16.7%, respectively. Conclusions: Triplet chemotherapy with CDDP, GEM and VNR was thus found to be highly effective for patients with MPM and its toxicity was manageable. A multi-institutional phase II trial is now being planned to establish the effectiveness of this new regimen in chemotherapy-naive patients with MPM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research