Possible Advance in Mesothelioma Treatment

A Danish team of mesothelioma researchers are reporting on the results of a study using a combination of Navelbine® (vinorelbine) and Platinol® (cisplatin) in a chemotherapy regimen for newly diagnosed non-resectable malignant mesothelioma . The study appeared online in the British Journal of Cancer in June of 2008. Non-resectable mesothelioma is mesothelioma which has progressed too far to be removable via surgical means. About 2,500 new cases of malignant mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. Since malignant mesothelioma develops very quickly and usually without symptoms for the early course of the disease, most cases which are diagnosed are non-resectable. Average survival times for patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma is one year or less, and chemotherapy is used as a palliative measure to improve quality of life and, hopefully, increase survival time.

The Danish study evaluated a regimen of Navelbine and Platinol in chemotherapy treatment cycles for 54 patients, each of whom had non-resectable mesothelioma. The average patient had four chemotherapy cycles using the Navelbine/Platinol mix. Two patients had a complete response to the chemotherapy, and 14 had parital responses. Median survival time for the group was 16.8 months, and the median time before tumors formed was 7.2 months. The one-year survival was 61%, the two-year survival was 31%, and the three-year survival was 4%. These results were considered to be as good or better than the current standard chemotherapy regimes for malignant mesothelioma.