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Pemetrexed (By injection)

Treats certain types of cancer in or near the lungs.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Pemetrexed injection treats lung cancer and belongs to the group of medicines called antineoplastics. It is used together with cisplatin (a cancer medicine) to treat a type of cancer called malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). This cancer affects the inside lining of the chest cavity. Pemetrexed injection may also be used alone or together with cisplatin to treat a type of lung cancer called… Read more
Brand names include
Alimta
Drug classes About this
Antineoplastic Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Pemetrexed disodium (new anticancer drug) significantly increases the length of survival, as well as relieves symptoms of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer, usually linked with previous exposure to asbestos. Its most common site is the pleura, a protective lining of the lungs. Currently there is no established standard treatment for mesothelioma. This review found a large clinical trial that examined the effectiveness of pemetrexed disodium, an anticancer drug developed to treat pleural mesothelioma, given in combination with another cancer drug, cisplatin. The results indicate that pemetrexed used in combination with cisplatin significantly increases the length of survival, when compared with cisplatin alone. Further research is needed into the optimum treatment regimen for pleural mesothelioma.

Pemetrexed as Maintenance Therapy for Advanced, Non-Squamous, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) [Internet]

About 2,600 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in Norway, of which 80% are classified as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Of these, about 75% have locally advanced or metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. Palliative chemotherapy is the standard treatment for patients in NSCLC stages IIIB-IV who cannot receive curative treatment and whose performance status is good (PS 0-2). The five-year survival rate for patients in these stages is low at about 1%.

Pemetrexed disodium for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma: a systematic review and economic evaluation

The review aimed to assess the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of pemetrexed disodium in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of unresectable pleural mesothelioma in chemotherapy-naïve patients.

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Summaries for consumers

Pemetrexed disodium (new anticancer drug) significantly increases the length of survival, as well as relieves symptoms of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer, usually linked with previous exposure to asbestos. Its most common site is the pleura, a protective lining of the lungs. Currently there is no established standard treatment for mesothelioma. This review found a large clinical trial that examined the effectiveness of pemetrexed disodium, an anticancer drug developed to treat pleural mesothelioma, given in combination with another cancer drug, cisplatin. The results indicate that pemetrexed used in combination with cisplatin significantly increases the length of survival, when compared with cisplatin alone. Further research is needed into the optimum treatment regimen for pleural mesothelioma.

Afatinib (Giotrif) for advanced lung cancer: Afatinib for Del19 EGFR mutations

In early 2014, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) assessed the advantages and disadvantages of afatinib in adults with advanced lung cancer and a mutated EGF receptor. A relevant trial was provided by the manufacturer: One group was given afatinib, the other was given a fixed combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed. The following results apply to patients whose tumor has a Del19 mutation of the EGF receptor.

Afatinib (Giotrif) for advanced lung cancer: Afatinib for L858R EGFR mutations

In early 2014, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) assessed the advantages and disadvantages of afatinib in adults with advanced lung cancer and a mutated EGF receptor. One relevant trial was provided by the manufacturer: One group was given afatinib, the other was given a fixed combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed. The following results apply to patients whose tumor has a L858R mutation of the EGF receptor.

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