Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare tumor, but its annual incidence is rapidly increasing. While most patients have locally advanced disease at presentation, to date there is no proven standard chemotherapy for MPM that has shown to increase survival in randomized studies. Therefore, the development of new therapeutic agents is urgent for this disease. Alimta is a novel, multitargeted antifolate with activity as single agent in patients with MPM. Recently, a phase III trial showed that the combination of Alimta with cisplatin resulted in a significantly increased efficacy compared with cisplatin alone. In addition, vitamin supplementation reduced treatment associated toxicities with no apparent affect on activity. This review summarizes preclinical and clinical data to define the future role of Alimta in the treatment of patients with MPM. © 2004 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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