Effects of intrapleural mitoxantrone and mepacrine on malignant pleural effusion--a randomised study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


30 patients with malignant pleuritis were randomised to be treated, either with intrapleural instillation of mepacrine chloride or with mitoxantrone. The patients were evaluated with chest X-ray and a symptom questionnaire during a follow-up period of 12 weeks. Mitoxantrone levels in the pleural space and plasma were measured at different time points in some of the patients. High concentrations of mitoxantrone were found in the pleural fluid while the plasma concentrations were low, giving a plasma/intracavity ratio generally of less than 1:60. The chest X-rays showed excellent results for both treatment modalities. However, the patients treated with mepacrine chloride experienced greater discomfort with fever and pain, and those treated with mitoxantrone reported significantly less dyspnoea and less asthenia after 4 weeks. We conclude that both treatments are equally effective in preventing the recurrence of malignant effusion. However, mitoxantrone seems to have further advantages when it comes to improving the quality of life.


  • Leif Bjermer
  • A Gruber
  • M Sue-Chu
  • T Sandström
  • S Eksborg
  • R Henriksson
External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • malignant pleuritis, mitoxantrone, mepacrine, pleural effusion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2203-2208
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes