Contemporary management of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The rapidly increasing incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma underlines the urgency to achieve a consensus in the management of this tumor, which is biologically distinct from most other tumors. For patients with stage I tumors of epithelial type and good performance status, pleuropneumonectomy combined with chemotherapy and radiotherapy provides the best chance of prolonged survival, but further investigation is required to determine the optimum combination of adjuvant therapy. Debulking pleurectomy/decortication combined with adjuvant therapy is a worthwhile alternative for patients with more advanced disease, impaired performance status or tumors of less favorable histology (sarcomatous or biphasic). More clinical trials are urgently required to identify better adjuvant therapy for tumors containing sarcomatous elements. On currently available evidence, neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy offer worthwhile prolonged disease control when used in isolation, although both have an important role as part of multimodality therapy. Hyperthermia may enhance the effect of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and newer radiosensitizing agents also need evaluating. Research into immunotherapy and gene therapy suggests that these newer approaches may have a place if tumor volume is small. In practice they will probably need to be combined with other therapeutic modalities, and further clinical trials are required. Consensus in mesothelioma management currently remains elusive but it seems clear that the way forward will involve striving for much earlier diagnosis, the use of multimodality therapy and collaboration between centers with special expertise in mesothelioma treatment to organize multicenter trials.
AuthorsE G Butchart
JournalThe oncologist (Oncologist) Vol. 4 Issue 6 Pg. 488-500 ( 1999) ISSN: 1083-7159 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID10631693 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
  • Humans
  • Mesothelioma (diagnosis, therapy)
  • Pleural Neoplasms (diagnosis, therapy)

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