Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of oxaliplatin +/- gemcitabine in patients with diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) pretreated with pemetrexed.
Methods: The study enrolled consecutive patients with relapsed MPM, all of them pretreated with a platin-pemetrexed-based chemotherapy. Oxaliplatin 80 mg/m2 was administered as monotherapy or in combination with gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 given on day 1 and 8. Cycles were repeated every 21 days. The primary endpoints were response rate and disease control rate. Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), time to tumour progression (TTP), progression-free survival (PFS), time to treatment failure (TTF), and toxicity.
Results: Between February 2005 and September 2007 29 patients (median age: 65.0 years, World Health Organisation (WHO) performance status: 0-3) were enrolled. The follow-up period encompassed 5.4 to 97.4 weeks (median: 24.3 weeks). Out of these 29 patients, 15 were treated in second, 10 in third, 3 in fourth and 1 in fifth line, respectively. The majority of the patients received the combination oxaliplatin and gemcitabine (n = 25 vs. 4; 86.2 vs. 13.8%).The median overall survival (OS) was 71.7 weeks (30.6-243.3 weeks), whereas survival from the start of oxaliplatin/gemcitabine-treatment was 24.3 weeks (5.4-97.3 weeks). Median time to tumour progression (TTP) was 9.3 weeks (3.0-67.6 weeks).Partial response (PR) was observed in 2 patients (6.9%), stable disease (SD) for at least three courses of treatment in 11 patients (37.9%). Thus, disease control rate was 44.8%, whereas 16 of 29 patients exhibited progressive disease (55.2%).The toxicity profile was favourable, with no WHO grade 4-toxicities, only few dose-reductions were performed due to non-symptomatic haematotoxicities (neutropenia, thrombopenia). Mild WHO grade 2 neurotoxicity was seen in 6 patients.
Conclusion: Pemetrexed-pretreated patients with progressive MPM may benefit from a consecutive chemotherapy with oxaliplatin and gemcitabine without significant toxicity.