Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer with an aggressive disease course. For patients who are medically inoperable or surgically unresectable, multi-agent systemic therapy remains an accepted standard-of-care around the world. Given the rare incidence of MPM and the disease’s aggressive nature, novel clinical trial designs are required. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to provide baseline summative survival estimates as well as evaluate the influence of prognostic variables to provide comparative estimates for future trial designs. In this study, a nomogram model was created to estimate survival with treatment with platinum-pemetrexed using covariates known to be associated with survival, including median age, gender, ECOG performance status, tumor stage, and tumor pathology subtype. Collaborative efforts can drive the change in the right direction, and appreciable progress has to be facilitated and newer trial designs may need to pave the way for future innovations in this rare disease.
(1) Purpose: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer with an aggressive course. For patients who are medically inoperable or surgically unresectable, multi-agent systemic chemotherapy remains an accepted standard-of-care. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to provide baseline summative survival estimates as well as evaluate the influence of prognostic variables to provide comparative estimates for future trial designs. (2) Methods: Using PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review and meta-analysis was performed of MPM studies published from 2002–2019 obtained from the Medline database evaluating systemic therapy combinations for locally advanced or metastatic disease. Weighted random effects models were used to calculate survival estimates. The influence of proportions of known prognostic factors on overall survival (OS) were evaluated in the creation of a prognostic nomogram to estimate survival. The performance of this model was evaluated against data generated from one positive phase II study and two positive randomized trials. (3) Results: Twenty-four phase II studies and five phase III trials met the eligibility criteria; 2534 patients were treated on the included clinical studies. Ten trials included a platinum-pemetrexed-based treatment regimen, resulting in a pooled estimate of progression-free survival (PFS) of 6.7 months (95% CI: 6.2–7.2 months) and OS of 14.2 months (95% CI: 12.7–15.9 months). Fifteen experimental chemotherapy regimens have been tested in phase II or III studies, with a pooled median survival estimate of 13.5 months (95% CI: 12.6–14.6 months). Meta-regression analysis was used to estimate OS with platinum-pemetrexed using a variety of features, such as pathology (biphasic vs. epithelioid), disease extent (locally advanced vs. metastatic), ECOG performance status, age, and gender. The nomogram-predicted estimates and corresponding 95% CIs performed well when applied to recent randomized studies. (4) Conclusions: Given the rarity of MPM and the aggressive nature of the disease, innovative clinical trial designs with significantly greater randomization to experimental regimens can be performed using robust survival estimates from prior studies. This study provides baseline comparative values and also allows for accounting for differing proportions of known prognostic variables. Keywords: mesothelioma; first line; meta-analysis; systematic review
Cancers (2021) 13(9):2186
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