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Br J Cancer. 2003 Jun 16;88(12):1839-43.

Long-term results of intrathoracic chemohyperthermia (ITCH) for the treatment of pleural malignancies.

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EA 'Ciblage Thérapeutique en Oncologie, Université Lyon 1, Faculté Lyon Sud, 69310, Oullins, France.


There is no standard treatment for patients with pleural malignancies. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the toxicity and long-term results of a multimodality treatment consisting of surgery and intrathoracic chemohyperthermia (ITCH) for the treatment of patients with pleural malignancies. From January 1990 to August 2000, 24 patients with mesothelioma (n=17), fibrosarcoma (n=3), pleural adenocarcinoma (n=3) and thymoma (n=1) were included. The mesothelioma stages were T1 or T2 in 10 cases, and T3 or T4 in seven cases. After cytoreductive surgery, ITCH was carried out for over 60 min, at inflow temperatures less than 45 degrees C, either with mitomycin C (n=7) or cisplatin (n=5) or both (n=12). One patient died from major thoracic air leaks after major decortication and pleurectomy. Seven patients had complications, one pleural clotting necessitating reoperation. After a median follow-up of 89 months, the overall 1-year and 5-year survival rates were 74 and 27%, respectively. For T1 and T2 mesothelioma patients, the median survival was 41.3 months, and for T3 and T4 tumours, it was 4.5 months (P=0.001). The fibrosarcoma patients are alive with no evidence of recurrence at 24, 43 and 54 months. In the conclusion, the combination of surgery with ITCH with mitomycin and/or cisplatin is relatively safe. This procedure may offer unexpected long-term survival in a selected group of patients (T1 and T2 mesothelioma patients and fibrosarcoma patients).

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