Treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma is today where treatment was three years ago for pleural mesothelioma.
Tumor treating fields are not yet acceptable for non-surgical cases. Immunotherapy is also in the early testing phases. If you can’t have surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma, then your next best option is systemic chemotherapy. The survival rates are poor.
Two cases published in Frontiers in Oncology hint at a potential new treatment option.
Doctors used lurbinectedin in two cases of peritoneal mesothelioma. Both cases had disease control for longer than systemic chemotherapy, hinting at further use in a larger study.
What Is Lurbinectedin?
Lurbinectedin is called an antineoplastic agent, which is a class of chemotherapy drugs. It’s a non-small-cell lung cancer treatment approved in conjunction with platinum-based chemotherapy, such as cisplatin.
Lurbinectedin isn’t approved for malignant mesothelioma but, according to the report in Frontiers in Oncology, has been successful in pleural mesothelioma trials. The drug binds to residues within the cell DNA, which can cause cell cycle arrest. This can cause cell death.
Use of Lurbinectedin for Peritoneal Mesothelioma
In the first case, a 66-year-old male was diagnosed in 2014. He went through carboplatin and pemetrexed systemically as a first-line treatment. This was the method after surgery was deemed not possible. He also received immunotherapy and the combination of chemotherapy drugs vinorelbine and gemcitabine, which didn’t slow the disease.
Lurbinectedin caused retreat of the peritoneal mesothelioma tumors. Imaging scans after three, six and nine months showed regression of the cancer. The disease-control time is currently at 10 months — and counting — as of the last checkup for the patient in March 2021. More than six years after the initial diagnosis, there were no signs of malignant cancer.
The second case, involving a 37-year-old male, was diagnosed in 2016. The multimodal mesothelioma treatment began with cisplatin and pemetrexed as a neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
The patient underwent complete cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy. He then received pemetrexed as a follow-up treatment after surgery. After disease progression continued, he received vinorelbine and gemcitabine. This therapy also failed.
Lurbinectedin controlled the cancer for eight months, after which imaging scans showed new spread of tumors. However, the patient remains alive. He’s close to one-year survival since beginning the unique therapy.
Sources & Author
- Lurbinectedin in Refractory Diffuse Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Report of Two Cases. Frontiers in Oncology. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8249751/. Accessed: 07/13/2021.