Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2011 Jul;68(1):1-15. doi: 10.1007/s00280-011-1655-3. Epub 2011 May 7.

Review on clinical trials of targeted treatments in malignant mesothelioma.

Author information

Department of Oncology, Finsencentre, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumor of the serosal surfaces with a poor prognosis. Advances in the understanding of tumor biology have led to the development of several targeted treatments, which have been evaluated in clinical trials. This article is a comprehensive review of all clinical trials evaluating the effect of targeted treatments in MM.


An extensive literature search was performed in January 2011 using pubmed and medline. No constraints on publication date were applied.


Thirty-two trials exploring 17 different targeted agents in MM were found. Treatment in first- and second-line targeted agents induced response rates ranging from 0-14% and 0-16%, respectively. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib induced partial response in 10% and stable disease in 66% of MPM patients as second-line treatment. A preliminary analysis of a phase II/III trial suggests that addition of bevacizumab to pemetrexed and cisplatin first-line treatment significantly improves disease control (CR + PR + SD) in the bevacizumab arm (73.5%) compared with treatment with pemetrexed and cisplatin without bevacizumab (43.2%) (P = 0.010). Another phase II trial did not observe any significant clinical benefit of adding of bevacizumab to gemcitabine and cisplatin.


Disease stabilization is reported in some patients with several targeted treatments and might be beneficial in subgroups of patients or in combination with classic chemotherapy. None of the hitherto explored targeted treatments can currently be recommended as standard treatment in MM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center