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Indolent peritoneal mesothelioma: PI3K-mTOR inhibitors as a novel therapeutic strategy


Peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM) is a scarce abdominal-pelvic malignancy that presents with non-specific features and exhibits a wide clinical spectrum from indolent to aggressive disease. Due to it being a rare entity, there is a lack of understanding of its molecular drivers. Most treatment data are from limited small studies or extrapolated from pleural mesothelioma. Standard treatment includes curative surgery or pemetrexed-platinum palliative chemotherapy. To date, the use of novel targeted agents has been disappointing.

Described is the management of two young women with papillary peritoneal mesothelioma with widespread recurrence having received platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy. Both patients obtained symptomatic and disease benefit with apitolisib, a dual phosphoinositide 3-kinase-mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K-mTOR) inhibitor for subsequent relapses, with one patient having a partial response for almost 3 years. Both are alive and well 10–13 years from diagnosis.

Conclusion These case presentations highlight a subgroup of rare MPeM that behave indolently that is compatible with long-term survival. This series identifies the use of targeted therapies with PI3K-mTOR-based inhibitors as a novel approach, warranting further clinical assessment. Development of prognostic biomarkers is essential to aid identify tumour aggressiveness, help stratify patients and facilitate treatment decisions.

  • Peritoneal mesothelioma
  • PI3K
  • mTOR
  • Apitolisib
  • Therapy

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