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Second-line Chemotherapy In Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Results Of A Retrospective Multicenter Survey.

P. Zucali, M. Simonelli, G. Michetti, M. Tiseo, G.L. Ceresoli, E. Collovà, A. Follador, M. Lo Dico, A. Moretti, F. De Vincenzo, E. Lorenzi, M. Perrino, L. Giordano, G. Farina, A. Santoro, M. Garassino
Published 2012 · Medicine

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The pemetrexed-cisplatin chemotherapy is standard of care in first-line (FL) treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The second-line (SL) chemotherapy is considered, but the optimal treatment has not been defined yet. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of SL-therapy in a series of MPM-patients included in a retrospective multicenter database. Clinical records of MPM-patients who received SL-treatment from 1996 to 2008 were reviewed. Study endpoints were response, overall-survival (OS), and progression-free-survival (PFS) for SL, stratified for patient characteristics, FL-outcomes, and type of SL. Out of 423 patients, 181 with full clinical data were identified. Patients' characteristics: median-age 64 years (range: 36-85); male gender 115 (63.5%); good EORTC-score 109 (60.2%); epithelial histology 135 (74.6%). After FL, 147 (81.2%) patients achieved disease-control (DC) and 45 had a time-to-progression≥12 months (TTP≥12). After SL, 95 patients (52.6%) achieved DC (21 response; 74 stable-disease); median PFS and OS were 4.3 and 8.7 months, respectively. According to multivariate analysis, DC after SL-therapy was significantly related to pemetrexed-based treatment (OR: 2.46; p=0.017) and FL-TTP≥12 (OR: 3.50; p=0.006). PFS was related to younger age (<65 years) (HR: 0.70; p=0.045), ECOG-PS0 (HR: 0.67; p=0.022), and FL-TTP≥12 (HR: 0.45; p<0.001). OS was significantly related to ECOG-PS0 (HR: 0.43; p<0.001) and to FL-TTP≥12 (HR: 0.54; p=0.005). In pemetrexed pre-treated patients, re-treatment with a pemetrexed/platinum combination significantly reduced the risk-of-death than pemetrexed alone (HR: 0.11; p<0.001). In conclusion, SL-chemotherapy seems to be active in MPM-patients, particularly in younger patients with ECOG-PS0 and prolonged TTP after FL-pemetrexed-based chemotherapy. In selected patients, re-challenge with pemetrexed-based regimens, preferentially associated with platinum-compound, appears to be an option for SL-setting. Considering the important limitations of this study, due to retrospective nature and the possible selection bias, prospective clinical trials are warranted to clarify these issues.
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