bims-mesote Biomed News
on Mesothelioma
Issue of 2021‒09‒12
six papers selected by
Laura Mannarino
Humanitas Research

  1. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 30. pii: 4377. [Epub ahead of print]13(17):
      Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare neoplasm with poor prognosis. CT is the first imaging technique used for diagnosis, staging, and assessment of therapy response. Although, CT has intrinsic limitations due to low soft tissue contrast and the current staging system as well as criteria for evaluating response, it does not consider the complex growth pattern of this tumor. Computer-based methods have proven their potentiality in diagnosis, staging, prognosis, and assessment of therapy response; moreover, computer-based methods can make feasible tasks like segmentation that would otherwise be impracticable. MRI, thanks to its high soft tissue contrast evaluation of contrast enhancement and through diffusion-weighted-images, could replace CT in many clinical settings.
    Keywords:  computer-based methods; magnetic resonance; malignant pleural mesothelioma
  2. Lung Cancer. 2021 Aug 27. pii: S0169-5002(21)00512-2. [Epub ahead of print]160 99-110
      OBJECTIVES: Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) are low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields with antimitotic effects on cancerous cells. TTFields concomitant with pemetrexed and a platinum agent are approved in the US and EU as first line therapy for unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The goal of the current study was to characterize the mechanism of action of TTFields in MPM cell lines and animal models.METHODS: Human MPM cell lines MSTO-211H and NCI-H2052 were treated with TTFields to determine the frequency that elicits maximal cytotoxicity. The effect of TTFields on DNA damage and repair, and the cytotoxic effect of TTFields in combination with cisplatin and/or pemetrexed were examined. Efficacy of TTFields concomitant with cisplatin and pemetrexed was evaluated in orthotopic IL-45 and subcutaneous RN5 murine models.
    RESULTS: TTFields at a frequency of 150 kHz demonstrated the highest cytotoxicity to MPM cells. Application of 150 kHz TTFields resulted in increased formation of DNA double strand breaks, elevated expression of DNA damage induced cell cycle arrest proteins, and reduced expression of Fanconi Anemia (FA)-BRCA DNA repair pathway proteins. Co-treatment of TTFields with cisplatin or pemetrexed significantly increased treatment efficacy versus each modality alone, with additivity and synergy exhibited by the TTFields-pemetrexed and TTFields-cisplatin combinations, respectively. In animal models, tumor volume was significantly lower for the TTFields-cisplatin-pemetrexed combination compared to control, accompanied by increased DNA damage within the tumor.
    CONCLUSION: This research demonstrated that the efficacy of TTFields for the treatment of MPM is associated with reduced expression of FA-BRCA pathway proteins and increased DNA damage. This mechanism of action is consistent with the observed synergism for TTFields-cisplatin vs additivity for TTFields-pemetrexed, as cisplatin-induced DNA damage is repaired via the FA-BRCA pathway.
    Keywords:  DNA damage; Fanconi Anemia-BRCA pathway; Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Tumor Treating Fields
  3. Cancer Biomark. 2021 Aug 24.
      BACKGROUND: Pleural mesothelioma is a deadly asbestos induced cancer. Less than 10% of mesothelioma patients survive 5 years post diagnosis. However survival can range from a few months to a number of years. Accurate prediction of survival is important for patients to plan for their remaining life, and for clinicians to determine appropriate therapy. One unusual features of mesothelioma is that patients frequently present with tumor-associated pleural effusions early in the course of the disease.OBJECTIVE: To study whether cells and molecules present in pleural effusions provide prognostic information for mesothelioma.
    METHODS: We profiled the cellular constituents and concentrations of 40 cytokines, chemokines and cellular factors (collectively "soluble factors") involved in inflammatory and immune signalling pathways in pleural effusion samples from 50 mesothelioma patients.Associations with survival were evaluated by Cox proportional hazards regression methods. Results for the two soluble factors most significantly and independently associated with survival were validated in an independent set of samples (n= 51) using a separate assay system.
    RESULTS: Survival analysis revealed thatIL8, IL2Ra (CD25) and PF4 were independent determinants of a more negative prognosis in mesothelioma patients, independent of other known prognostic factors. Lipocalin2 and IL4 were associated with better prognosis.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that pleural effusions rich in a range of soluble factors are associated with poor prognosis. These findings will enhance our ability to prognosticate outcomes in mesothelioma patients.
    Keywords:  Malignant pleural mesothelioma; cellular factors; chemokines; cytokines; pleural effusions; prognosis
  4. J Clin Med. 2021 Aug 25. pii: 3801. [Epub ahead of print]10(17):
      INTRODUCTION: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is characterized by an aggressive behavior and an inevitably fatal prognosis, whose treatment is still far from being standardized. The role of surgery is questionable since a radical resection is unattainable in most cases. Hyperthermic IntraTHOracic Chemotherapy (HITHOC) combines the advantages of antitumoral effects together with those of high temperature on the exposed tissues with the aim to improve surgical radicality.MATERIAL AND METHODS: this is a narrative review on the role of HITHOC in the management of MPM patients. To provide data on the beginnings and the historical evolution of this technique, we searched the available literature by selecting the more exhaustive papers on this topic.
    RESULTS: from 1994 to date different authors experimented HITHOC following a cytoreductive surgery in MPM, obtaining in most cases a good local control and a better overall survival associated to very low complication rate.
    CONCLUSIONS: HITHOC may be considered as a safe, feasible and effective procedure although there is a high heterogeneity between different protocols adopted worldwide. More structured studies are needed to reach a unanimous consensus on this technique.
    Keywords:  HITHOC; chemotherapy; hypertermia; local treatment; mesothelioma
  5. JCO Oncol Pract. 2021 Sep 07. OP2100426
      The management of pleural mesothelioma has changed with the demonstration that first-line checkpoint blockade therapy improves survival. This review covers issues of relevance to the practicing medical oncologist, with an emphasis on the palliative setting and on new information. Until recently, standard systemic therapy for mesothelioma was combination chemotherapy with platinum and pemetrexed. In 2020, combination immunotherapy with ipilimumab and nivolumab was approved as first-line systemic therapy for mesothelioma following release of the results from the CheckMate 743 trial. This trial showed improved overall survival for patients receiving ipilimumab and nivolumab over those treated with platinum and pemetrexed chemotherapy. When the survival results were examined by histologic subtype, the survival benefit was most significant in those with nonepithelioid mesothelioma, a group for which combination immunotherapy is now standard of care. The most important outstanding issue from CheckMate-743 is a better understanding, through translational studies, of which patients with epithelioid mesothelioma may benefit from combination immunotherapy. The next generation of first-line clinical trials in mesothelioma will report the results of first-line combination chemoimmunotherapy. For those patients who receive first-line dual checkpoint blockade, there is no evidence as to the efficacy of subsequent chemotherapy. However, given the known first-line efficacy of cisplatin or carboplatin and pemetrexed, combination chemotherapy is an appropriate subsequent choice for those who progress on or after dual immunotherapy. For those who previously received chemotherapy without immunotherapy, single-agent nivolumab provides benefit over best supportive care. In summary, both chemotherapy and immunotherapy should be considered for all patients during their disease course. Another topical issue is the growing appreciation that some individuals have an inherited predisposition to mesothelioma; referral to a clinical geneticist should be considered under some circumstances. The role of surgery and multimodality therapy is controversial, with results awaited from the fully recruited MARS-2 clinical trial. Patient selection, staging, and multidisciplinary review are critical to identify those who might benefit from a multimodality approach. Finally, a proactive, multidisciplinary approach to symptom management and the principles of management of pleural effusions are critical to manage the symptom burden of mesothelioma and optimize patient well-being.
  6. Lancet Oncol. 2021 Sep 06. pii: S1470-2045(21)00404-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: There is a preclinical rationale for inhibiting angiogenesis in mesothelioma. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of the anti-VEGFR-2 antibody ramucirumab combined with gemcitabine in patients with pretreated malignant pleural mesothelioma.METHODS: RAMES was a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial done at 26 hospitals in Italy. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-2, and histologically proven malignant pleural mesothelioma progressing during or after first-line treatment with pemetrexed plus platinum. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive intravenous gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks plus either intravenous placebo (gemcitabine plus placebo group) or ramucirumab 10 mg/kg (gemcitabine plus ramucirumab group) on day 1 every 3 weeks, until tumour progression or unacceptable toxicity. Central randomisation was done according to a minimisation algorithm method, associated with a random element using the following stratification factors: ECOG performance status, age, histology, and first-line time-to-progression. The primary endpoint was overall survival, measured from the date of randomisation to the date of death from any cause. Efficacy analyses were assessed in all patients who had been correctly randomised and received their allocated treatment, and safety analyses were assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of their assigned treatment. This trial is registered with, NCT03560973, and with EudraCT, 2016-001132-36.
    FINDINGS: Between Dec 22, 2016, and July 30, 2018, of 165 patients enrolled 161 were correctly assigned and received either gemcitabine plus placebo (n=81) or gemcitabine plus ramucirumab (n=80). At database lock (March 8, 2020), with a median follow-up of 21·9 months (IQR 17·7-28·5), overall survival was longer in the ramucirumab group (HR 0·71, 70% CI 0·59-0·85; p=0·028). Median overall survival was 13·8 months (70% CI 12·7-14·4) in the gemcitabine plus ramucirumab group and 7·5 months (6·9-8·9) in the gemcitabine plus placebo group. Grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events were reported in 35 (44%) of 80 patients in the gemcitabine plus ramucirumab group and 24 (30%) of 81 in the gemcitabine plus placebo group. The most common treatment-related grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (16 [20%] for gemcitabine plus ramucirumab vs ten [12%] for gemcitabine plus placebo) and hypertension (five [6%] vs none). Treatment-related serious adverse events were reported in five (6%) in the gemcitabine plus ramucirumab group and in four (5%) patients in the gemcitabine plus placebo group; the most common was thromboembolism (three [4%] for gemcitabine plus ramucirumab vs two [2%] for gemcitabine plus placebo). There were no treatment-related deaths.
    INTERPRETATION: Ramucirumab plus gemcitabine significantly improved overall survival after first-line standard chemotherapy, with a favourable safety profile. This combination could be a new option in this setting.
    FUNDING: Eli Lilly Italy.
    TRANSLATION: For the Italian translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.