The median survival for the patients was 12.4 months from starting radiotherapy, ranging from 2 to 87 months, the researchers say. There were no life-threatening or fatal toxicities from treatment.
"Many believe mesothelioma to be radioresistant and that toxicity is prohibitive if high doses are given with the affected lung in situ," Dr Feigen and colleagues say.
"Our experience provides clear evidence that radiation is arguably the most effective single agent for mesothelioma and new technologies including intensity-modulated radiotherapy allow high doses to be delivered safely."
Blood markers identified
Swiss, Italian and US researchers report that they have tested another group of potentially useful blood markers for mesothelioma.
Dr Ferdinando Cerciello from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Hospital Zurich and colleagues studied 56 candidate biomarker peptides that they isolated from laboratory samples of mesothelioma and tested in the blood of patients with mesothelioma, healthy donors and non-small-cell lung cancer patients.
The study "revealed potential candidate biomarkers in serum, accessible simultaneously by mass spectrometry," the authors report. At the meeting, they will report the strategy for the selection and measurement of their 56 peptides in serum as well as the results of an evaluation in 75 blood samples.
Sorafenib well tolerated
The drug sorafenib is well tolerated in patients with mesothelioma after completion of platinum containing chemotherapy, British investigators report.
In a phase II trial of sorafenib following first-line chemotherapy in 53 patients with malignant mesothelioma, 34% of patients were progression-free after six months.
Dr Sophie Papa and Dr James Spicer from Kings Col
|Contact: Vanessa Pavinato|
European Society for Medical Oncology