NCCN Panel Favors New Mesothelioma Drug Combo as First-Line Therapy

NCCN Panel Favors New Mesothelioma Drug Combo as First-Line Therapy

NCCNlogoThe National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 27 major U.S. cancer centers, has expanded its recommendation for first-line pleural mesothelioma treatment to include the monoclonal antibody drug Avastin (bevacizumab) as a combination therapy for certain mesothelioma patients, according to a new report posted on the information and advocacy site Surviving Mesothelioma.

The NCCN cites recent research showing that the bevacizumab extends mesothelioma survival rates when administered with the chemotherapy medications pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin as a first-line treatment, noting French researchers reported encouraging results from the six-year Mesothelioma Avastin Cisplatin Pemetrexed Study (MAPS). The NCCN panel also now recommends the bevacizumab/cisplatin/pemetrexed combo as a first-line therapy option for patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) who are candidates for bevacizumab.

JCCNcoverThe NCCN panel recommendations are detailed in an article published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, titled “NCCN Guidelines Insights: Malignant Pleural MesotheliomaEttingerD,” co-authored by David Ettinger, MD , of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and representatives of the NCCN partner centers.

The panel explains that the new guidelines focus on recent updates to the NCCN Guidelines for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM), and discuss systemic therapy regimens and surgical controversies for MPM. The complete version for MPM, available at, addresses the various aspects of MPM management, including diagnosis, evaluation, staging, treatment, surveillance, and therapy for recurrence and metastasis, and are intended to assist with clinical decision-making.

JCCNlogoContent from the network’s journal can also be accessed via an iOS App available at:

“Surviving Mesothelioma is committed to keeping mesothelioma patients and their families up to date on the very latest recommendations and guidelines related to this devastating cancer,” said Alex Strauss, the site’s managing editor. “The bevacizumab option represents the first time mesothelioma chemotherapy has undergone any significant change since pemetrexed (Alimta) was approved in 2004.”


A study evaluating the French trial, “Bevacizumab for newly diagnosed pleural mesothelioma in the Mesothelioma Avastin Cisplatin Pemetrexed Study (MAPS): a randomized, controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial,” was recently published in the journal Lancet. Researchers concluded their review of the trial’s results by noting, “Addition of bevacizumab to pemetrexed plus cisplatin significantly improved OS [overall survival] in malignant pleural mesothelioma at the cost of expected manageable toxic effects, therefore it should be considered as a suitable treatment for the disease.”

Surviving Mesothelioma
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
National Cancer Institute
Canadian Cancer Society

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