Review of a promising new agent--pemetrexed disodium

Cancer. 2003 Apr 15;97(8 Suppl):2056-63. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11279.


Pemetrexed disodium (ALIMTa, [pemetrexed], LY231514; Eli Lilly and Company; Indianapolis, IN), a novel antifolate antimetabolite with multiple enzyme targets involved in both pyrimidine and purine synthesis, has entered clinical trials due to its favorable pleclinical profile. Many studies utilizing the drug, as a single or combination agent, are currently ongoing, including Phase III trials in mesothelioma, nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) and pancreatic cancer. Promising feasibility and activity data have been obtained with pemetrexed in combination with platinum compounds and gemcitabine. The supplementation with daily oral folate could reduce the incidence of hematologic toxicities while preserving the antitumor activity of pemetrexed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Glutamates / adverse effects
  • Glutamates / therapeutic use*
  • Guanine / adverse effects
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pemetrexed
  • Safety
  • Survival Rate
  • Thymidylate Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Glutamates
  • Pemetrexed
  • Guanine
  • Thymidylate Synthase