Surviving Mesothelioma Reports on New Alimta Study

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Japanese researchers say the drug Alimta (pemetrexed) in combination with cisplatin should remain the top first-line treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Alimta or Gemzar for Mesothelioma

Cisplatin plus pemetrexed (Alimta) may be superior and should continue to be the standard front-line chemotherapeutic regimen...

Japanese researchers say the drug Alimta (pemetrexed) in combination with cisplatin should remain the top first-line treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Their findings have just been posted by Surviving Mesothelioma at http://www.survivingmesothelioma.com/news/view.asp?ID=001588#.UynAe3lOVtQ

Scientists with the Shizuoka Cancer Center and Juntendo University recently compared the results of 30 mesothelioma patients on combinations containing either Alimta or Gemzar. In disease control, complications, and survival, the Alimta combination, currently the most popular chemotherapeutic treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, came out ahead.

Writing on these findings in the medical journal Respiratory Investigations, lead researcher Dr. Takehito Shukuya reports, “Cisplatin plus pemetrexed (Alimta) may be superior and should continue to be the standard front-line chemotherapeutic regimen for inoperable malignant pleural mesothelioma.”

The study reviewed the cases of patients with inoperable pleural mesothelioma. Thirteen patients were treated with the Gemzar combination while the remaining 17 took Alimta and cisplatin. While both drugs caused some serious side effects, complications were more frequent among Gemzar users, while their overall survival was shorter.

“These findings could be good news for mesothelioma patients already taking Alimta because they suggest that the drug remains an excellent treatment choice,” says Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma. “For newly diagnosed patients, these findings may help guide their decision-making.”

To read the details of the Alimta/Gemzar comparison, including the overall survival on each drug and the most serious complications, see New Alimata Study, available now on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.
Shukuya, T, “Comparison of cisplatin plus pemetrexed and cisplatin plus gemcitabine for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma in Japanese patients”, March 2014, Respiratory Investigations, pp. 101-106. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24636265

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