A study in the newest issue of The Lancet concluded that adding chemotherapy to other treatments given to mesothelioma patients does not appear to affect survival or quality of life.
Patients suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma were separated into three groups. The first was given a weekly injection of vinorelbine while the second was a given four cycles of mitomycin, vinblastine and cisplatin every three weeks. The treatments were administered in addition to active symptom control treatments which include steroids, painkillers and palliative treatments. The final group only received symptom treatment with no chemotherapy.
The study found that there was a slight but insignificant difference between 1-year survival rates. Patients receiving chemotherapy had a 32 percent rate compared to 29 percent for those only receiving symptom treatment.
Patients in the group that received vinorelbine had a 37 percent 1-year survival rate and researchers concluded it deserves further investigation. However the survival difference was not statistically significant and the authors concluded that the addition of chemotherapy to treatment regimens offered no major benefits.
In addition, quality of life scores among the three groups did not show any major differences.