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Lung Cancer. 2008 May;60(2):259-63. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Gemcitabine and cisplatin in unresectable malignant mesothelioma of the pleura: a phase II study of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG 9810).

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  • 1Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



The purpose of this open-label phase II SWOG study was to evaluate the activity of gemcitabine (Gemzar; Eli Lilly, Indiana, USA) and cisplatin combination therapy, in patients with unresectable malignant mesothelioma of the pleura.


Fifty eligible chemotherapy naïve patients with histologically proven malignant mesothelioma of the pleura, and a SWOG performance status 0-2 were enrolled between February 1999 and August 2000. Treatment consisted of gemcitabine 1000mg/m(2) and cisplatin 30mg/m(2) on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28-day cycle, until progression of disease or two cycles beyond complete response.


Using SWOG response criteria, one patient had a confirmed complete response and five patients had a confirmed partial response, for a total response rate of 12% (95% CI 5-24%). All the responses were seen in patients with epithelioid or unspecified histology. Stable disease was seen in 25 patients (50%). The median overall survival was 10 months (95% CI 7-15 months), with a median progression-free survival of 6 months. Sixteen patients experienced Grade 4 toxicity. Twelve of these Grade 4 toxicities were hematologic. There were no treatment-related deaths.


Cisplatin-gemcitabine combination chemotherapy has modest activity with an acceptable toxicity profile, as first line treatment for patients with malignant mesothelioma.

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