Medline: 1429086

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 24(4): 643-650, 1992.

Multimodality treatment programs for malignant pleural mesothelioma using high-dose hemithorax irradiation.

Mattson K, Holsti LR, Tammilehto L, et al.


The characteristic of malignant pleural mesothelioma is a tumor that grows by plate-like extension over the pleura, and invades adjacent tissues and organs. Radical surgical removal of the tumor is generally not possible, and most treatment regimens involve combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as debulking surgery. We have prospectively evaluated five locally-aggressive multi-modality treatment programs, using different hemithorax irradiation schedules and chemotherapy regimens. One hundred patients with confirmed malignant pleural mesothelioma entered the study between 1977 and 1989. The treatment programs, which can consecutively, were: I, 20 Gy (10 x 2 Gy) to the hemithorax + CYVADIC (cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m2 d 1, vincristine 1 mg/m2 d 1 and 5, Adriamycin 40 mg/m2 d 1 and dacarbazine 200 mg/m2 d 1 and 5, several cycles before and after irradiation); II, 55 Gy (25 x 2.2 Gy) to the hemithorax + 15 Gy (6 x 2.5 Gy) to the tumor + CYVADIC (2 cycles before, 1 cycle during, and 2 cycles after irradiation); III, mitoxantrone (14 mg/m2 q 28 d, less than or equal to 6 cycles) followed by 70 Gy (56 x 1.25 Gy, twice a day); IV, 4-epirubicin (110-130 mg/m2 q 28 d, less than or equal to 6 cycles) followed by 35 Gy (28 x 1.25 Gy twice a day) to the hemithorax + 36 Gy (9 x 4 Gy every 2 days) to the tumor; V, etoposide (150 mg/m2 1, 3, 5 q 28 d) followed by 38.5 Gy (11 x 3.5 Gy) to the hemithorax. A new system for evaluating tumor response in pleural mesothelioma was applied. None of the combined treatment programs prevented local invasive growth or the spread of mesothelioma outside the hemithorax. The median survival time was slightly increased from 8 to 12 months for those patients who completed the protocol treatments, but progressive disease was the invariable outcome. Radiation pneumonitis and fibrosis were severe and compatible with results of total loss of lung function on the irradiated side. We conclude that data relating to therapeutic responses and treatment programs in malignant mesothelioma should be better correlated internationally, if the problems associated with the evaluation of treatment and the management of patients with mesothelioma are to be improved.

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