The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of intrapleural chemotherapy (IPC) with cisplatin and cytarabine in the management of malignant pleural effusion (MPE) from non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Materials and Methods
A prospective analysis was carried out on 40 patients with pathologically proven MPE from NSCLC who had received IPC. A single dose of cisplatin 100 mg/m2 plus cytarabine 1200 mg/m2 in 250 ml normal saline was instilled into the pleural space via a chest tube and drained 4 hours later. Patients were evaluated for toxicities and responses at 1, 2, & 3 weeks and then at monthly intervals if possible. Systemic chemotherapy was administered, if the patient agreed to receive it, after achieving complete control (CC) of MPE.
The median duration of chest tube insertion for drainage was 7 (3~32) days. Among the assessable 37 patients, CC and partial control (PC) were 32 (86.5%) and 4 (10.8%) patients, respectively (overall response rate 97.3%). The median duration of response was 12 months (2~23) and there were only two relapses of IPC after achieving CC. Among the 35 patients who were assessable until they died, 28 patients (80.0%) maintained CC until the last follow-up. There was only one toxic death and the toxicities of IPC, versus the results obtained, were deemed acceptable.
The procedures were tolerable to the patients and chemotherapy-induced complications were at an acceptable level. The outcome of this trial indicates that IPC has a superior and long lasting treatment response in the management of patients with MPE from NSCLC.