A new study conducted by a team of Italian researchers tested the effectiveness
of pemetrexed-based chemotherapy (PBC) as a second-line treatment for
mesothelioma cancer patients whose cancer shows at least a partial response
to initial chemo. PBC is already effective for some patients, however
no drugs have been approved yet for second-line treatment when the cancer
continues to progress after first-line chemotherapy.
The study found that mesothelioma tumors shrunk or at least stopped growing
in nearly half of patients (48%), and the median survival rate was 10.5
months after the treatment. Researchers also determined that the patients
whose tumors stopped growing for at least 12 months after their first
round of PBC treatment were more likely to respond well in the second
round. Although the role of second-line therapy in mesothelioma needs
further evaluation, this study suggests the possible therapeutic role
of re-treatment PBC.