Addition Of Thalidomide Maintenance To First-line Chemotherapy For Patients With Pleural Or Peritoneal Mesothelioma Did Not Help With Disease Progression


On April 12, 2013 The Lancet Oncology medical journal published early online this article, “Thalidomide versus active supportive care for maintenance in patients with malignant mesothelioma after first-line chemotherapy (NVALT 5): an open-label, multicentre, randomised phase 3 study”.

From the Abstract of this new medical study article concerning malignant mesothelioma disease progression:

Standard chemotherapy does not lead to long-term survival in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is strongly dependent on vasculature with high vessel counts and high concentrations of serum vascular growth factors. Thalidomide has shown antiangiogenic activity, and we hypothesised that its use in the maintenance setting could improve outcomes.

In this open-label, multicentre, randomised phase 3 study, eligible patients had proven malignant pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma and had received a minimum of four cycles of first-line treatment containing at least pemetrexed, with or without cisplatin or carboplatin, and had not progressed on this treatment…. Thalidomide was given for a maximum of 1 year or until unacceptable toxicity….

No benefit was noted in time to progression with the addition of thalidomide maintenance to first-line chemotherapy. Different treatment strategies are needed to improve outcomes in patients with malignant mesothelioma.

This study involved 222 patients during the time period May 2004 to December 2009.

We will continue to watch for medical developments concerning mesothelioma treatments.

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