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Cisplatin And Gemcitabine Treatment For Malignant Mesothelioma: A Phase II Study

M. J. Byrne, J. A. Davidson, A. W. Musk, J. Dewar, G. van Hazel, M. Buck, N. H. de Klerk, B. W.S. Robinson

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PURPOSE: We performed a phase II study of combined cisplatin 100 mg/m2, given intravenously on day 1, and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2, given intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle for six cycles among patients with advanced measurable pleural mesothelioma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Pleural tumor was measured at three levels on computed tomographic scans at study entry and before the second, fourth, and sixth cycles and every 2 months thereafter to disease progression. Of the 21 patients treated, 19 were male; the median age was 62 years (range, 46 to 74 years); 62% had epithelial tumors; and 18 were classified as tumor-node-metastasis system stage III or IV. Ninety-four cycles were given (median, six; mean, 4.5 per patient), with a mean relative dose intensity of cisplatin 96.7% and gemcitabine 82.5%. RESULTS: Best objective responses achieved were as follows: complete response, no patients; partial response, 10 patients (complete response + partial response, 47.6% [95% confidence interval, 26.2% to 69.0%]); no change, nine patients; and progressive disease, two patients. Median response duration was 25 weeks, progression-free survival was 25 weeks, and overall survival was 41 weeks. Nine of the 10 responders (90%) and three of nine patients with no change had significant symptom improvement. Serial measurements of vital capacity were performed on three of the responders; all showed a significant increase during the time of remission. Toxicity was mainly gastroenterologic and hematologic. Grade 3 nausea and vomiting occurred in 33% of patients, grade 3 leukopenia in 38%, grade 3 thrombocytopenia in 14%, and grade 4 thrombocytopenia in 19%. CONCLUSION: Combined cisplatin and gemcitabine is an active combination in malignant mesothelioma and produces symptomatic benefit in responding patients.