Little information is available regarding the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents in malignant mesothelioma. Human malignant mesothelioma specimens from two patients were successfully transplanted and maintained in homozygous nude mice. Screening of chemotherapeutic agents revealed that cisplatin was the most active single agent in one line, and mitomycin C in the other. The combination of mitomycin C and cisplatin, however, was the most effective regimen for both lines of xenografted human mesothelioma. Based on these results in nude mice, a clinical trial of mitomycin C and cisplatin was undertaken. Four of 12 patients showed objective response (one complete and three partial). These clinical results support the usefulness of the nude mouse model for malignant mesothelioma.


Supported in part by Cancer Center Grant CA-23102 from the National Cancer Institute, and by the T. J. Martell Memorial Foundation for Leukemia and Cancer Research. Presented in part at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, San Diego, May 25 to 28, 1983 (7).

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