Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the activity and toxicity of pemetrexed and carboplatin combination as first-line chemotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).
Patients and methods: Patients with measurable advanced MPM and a zero to two Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) were enrolled. The schedule was pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) in combination with carboplatin area under the curve 5, every 21 days. In all, 76 patients were treated. Median age was 65 years; median ECOG PS was zero.
Results: Grade 3 hematological toxicity according to World Health Organization criteria was seen in 36 (47.3%) patients; grade 4 hematological toxicity in 5 (6.5%) patients. There were 16 (21%) partial responses and 3 (4%) complete responses, for an overall response rate of 19 (25%) [95% confidence interval (CI) 15.3-34.7]. In all, 29 (39%) (95% CI 28-48) patients reported stable disease. The median survival was estimated at 14 months.
Conclusion: This combination of carboplatin and pemetrexed is moderately active and the toxicity is acceptable.