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A pilot study of zoledronic acid in the treatment of patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma

Authors Jamil MO, Jerome MS, Miley D, Selander KS, Robert F

Received 9 March 2017

Accepted for publication 21 April 2017

Published 12 June 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 39—44

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/LCTT.S135802

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Pan-Chyr Yang


Muhammad Omer Jamil, Mary S Jerome, Deborah Miley, Katri S Selander, Francisco Robert

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

Purpose: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare malignancy with a dismal median survival of <12 months with current therapy. Single and combination chemotherapy regimens have shown only modest clinical benefit. In preclinical studies, nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (zoledronic acid) inhibit growth of mesothelioma cells by different mechanisms: inhibition of mevalonate pathway, inhibition of angiogenesis, activation of apoptosis through caspase activation, and alteration in activity of matrix metalloproteinases, thereby affecting invasiveness of cancer cells.
Patients and methods: We investigated the role of zoledronic acid in a pilot, single-arm trial of MPM patients with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) 0–2 who had progressed on prior treatments or had not received systemic therapy due to poor PS. Primary end point was composite response rate by modified response evaluation criteria in solid tumors and/or metabolic response by 2-deoxy-2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-d-glucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography criteria. Secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Exploratory end points include the effect of zoledronic acid therapy on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor, interleukin 8, transforming growth factor beta, mesothelin, and osteopontin levels.
Results: Eight male patients (median age of 62 years) with the following clinical characteristics were treated; ECOG PS was 0–2, 75% with epithelioid type, and 62% had prior chemotherapy. Overall composite response rate was 12.5% and the clinical benefit rate (response + stable disease) was 37.5%. Median PFS was 2 months (0.5–21 months) and median OS was 7 months (0.8–28 months). No treatment-related toxicities were observed. Lower VEGF levels were predictive of favorable response and mesothelin levels correlated with disease course.
Conclusion: Zoledronic acid shows modest clinical activity without significant toxicity in patients with advanced MPM.

Keywords: mesothelioma, treatment, bisphosphonates

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