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Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2009 Sep;14(3):423-37. doi: 10.1517/14728210903074563.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma: current treatments and emerging drugs.

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  • 1San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Oncology Department, 60 Olgettina Street, Milan 20132, Italy.



Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an uncommon disease whose incidence is increasing worldwide over the past 30 years. Surgical resection and radiotherapy represent the standard treatment in patient with resectable MPM. Chemotherapy is also necessary to reduce incidence of distant metastases, but the optimal setting of treatment (neoadjuvant, adjuvant and intrapleural) is not clarified. For the patients with unresectable MPM, the combination cisplatin and pemetrexed or ralitrexed is the standard treatment as supported by a Phase III study. Better understanding of molecular pathways involved in MPM has enabled inclusion of new drugs targeted against pathways responsible for proliferation, cell survival and angiogenesis.


This review discusses the current treatment option, the specific signal pathways activated in MPM and the novel agents under evaluation in clinical trials.


We use for this article abstracts, papers, oral presentations from ASCO and the website RESULTS/ CONCLUSION: This review summarizes the activity of chemotherapy and of new agents under evaluation in clinical trials. The better understanding of molecular pathways activated in MPM will hopefully provide new therapeutic options for these patients in the future.

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