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J Clin Oncol. 1999 Jan;17(1):25-30.

Cisplatin and gemcitabine treatment for malignant mesothelioma: a phase II study.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.



We performed a phase II study of combined cisplatin 100 mg/m2, given intravenously on day 1, and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2, given intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle for six cycles among patients with advanced measurable pleural mesothelioma.


Pleural tumor was measured at three levels on computed tomographic scans at study entry and before the second, fourth, and sixth cycles and every 2 months thereafter to disease progression. Of the 21 patients treated, 19 were male; the median age was 62 years (range, 46 to 74 years); 62% had epithelial tumors; and 18 were classified as tumor-node-metastasis system stage III or IV. Ninety-four cycles were given (median, six; mean, 4.5 per patient), with a mean relative dose intensity of cisplatin 96.7% and gemcitabine 82.5%.


Best objective responses achieved were as follows: complete response, no patients; partial response, 10 patients (complete response + partial response, 47.6% [95% confidence interval, 26.2% to 69.0%]); no change, nine patients; and progressive disease, two patients. Median response duration was 25 weeks, progression-free survival was 25 weeks, and overall survival was 41 weeks. Nine of the 10 responders (90%) and three of nine patients with no change had significant symptom improvement. Serial measurements of vital capacity were performed on three of the responders; all showed a significant increase during the time of remission. Toxicity was mainly gastroenterologic and hematologic. Grade 3 nausea and vomiting occurred in 33% of patients, grade 3 leukopenia in 38%, grade 3 thrombocytopenia in 14%, and grade 4 thrombocytopenia in 19%.


Combined cisplatin and gemcitabine is an active combination in malignant mesothelioma and produces symptomatic benefit in responding patients.

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