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Br J Cancer. 2012 Mar 13;106(6):1027-32. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.44. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

First-line chemotherapy with liposomal doxorubicin plus cisplatin for patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma: phase II trial.

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Clinica de Tumores Torácicos, San Fernando #22, Colonia Sección XVI, Tlalpan, México City 14080, México.



Chemotherapy based on platinum is the standard treatment for unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Liposomal doxorubicin (LD) consists of pegylated phospholipid vesicles that encapsulate doxorubicin-enhancing liposome deposition in the tumour. We evaluated the toxicity profile and anti-tumour activity of cisplatin plus LD in untreated patients with MPM, as well as (99m)Tc-LD distribution in MPM lesions after chemotherapy administration.


A total of 38 patients with non-resectable MPM received LD 40 mg m(-2) and cisplatin 60 mg m(-2) every 21 days. Gamma camera images of (99m)Tc-LD were acquired to evaluate LD accumulation in measurable tumour tissue. The study was registered in Clinical Trials (NCT00886028).


In all, 72% of patients were stage III and 28% were stage IV. Eighty four percent and 16% have high and low risk acording EORTC respectively. The median time to progression was 4.6 months (95% confidence interval (95% CI: 3.4-5.9 months), and median overall survival (OS) was 19.6 months (15.2-37.2 months). Patients that responded to chemotherapy treatment had better survival than patients who did not. Functional physical scales, dysnea, cough, and chest/arm pain demonstrated improvement. The accumulation ratio of LD in tumour and soft tissues vs liver was 0.78±0.16 and 0.29±0.09, respectively. After 1 h of administration, LD uptake in tumour tissue was higher than in soft tissue (P< 0.001).


The combination of LD and cisplatin results in an active therapeutic regimen for unresectable MPM, with an acceptable toxicity profile and improvement in quality of life. (99m)Tc-LD showed higher levels of tumour uptake as compared with surrounding tissues.

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