Twenty-six symptomatic patients with diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma (DMPM) were enrolled in a Phase II Italian Lung Cancer Task Force (FONICAP) study to assess the activity and toxicity of doxorubicin and cisplatin combination chemotherapy. The drug schedule was as follows; 60 mg/m2 of doxorubicin and 60 mg/m2 of cisplatin both given intravenously (IV) on day 1 every 3 to 4 weeks. Of the 24 evaluable patients, 6 objective partial responses (25%; 95% confidence limits, 9.77% to 46.71%) were observed. Twelve of 24 patients (50%), including 6 with no radiologic evidence of response, had a clinical improvement as demonstrated by an objective reduction of symptom or performance status scores along treatment. The overall median survival time was 10 months. Toxicity was mild and dose reductions or suspensions were not required. The combination of doxorubicin and cisplatin is effective and well tolerated. It might be considered for palliation of symptomatic patients with DMPM.