Approved and emerging treatments of malignant pleural mesothelioma in elderly patients.

Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine 2019 October 9 [Link]

Ceresoli GL, Rossi A


Introduction: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare neoplasm with asbestos exposure as the dominant etiologic agent. Owing to the long latent period following exposure, MPM is often diagnosed late in life. Despite this, elderly patients are under-represented in clinical trials. To date, data regarding the tolerability and efficacy of anticancer treatments for elderly patients affected by MPM are still lacking. 

Areas covered: The current state-of-the-art of approved treatments employed in the treatment MPM elderly patients is reviewed and discussed, with a look to emerging therapies. A structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature and of main meeting abstracts using a focused review question was undertaken. 

Expert opinion: Even though median age of MPM patients enrolled in the most recent experimental trials is increasing, no specific analysis has been reported so far in the elderly. Moreover, no data are available for the “oldest of the elderly” (> 75 years). Treatment of elderly patients with MPM is one of the major challenges to the clinician. There is a clear need of large, well conducted retrospective studies and above all of prospective investigations in this patient population, both in the first-and in the second-line setting.