Feasibility and safety of extended pleurectomy/decortication for malignant pleural mesothelioma. A single group experience

Thoracic Cancer 2022 September 2 [Link]

Francesco Falanga, Pietro Rinaldi, Cristiano Primiceri, Chandra Bortolotto, Olga Oneta, Francesco Agustoni, Patrizia Morbini, Laura Saracino, Dimitrios Eleftheriou, Federico Sottotetti, Giulia Maria Stella


Surgery is part of a multimodal therapeutic approach to malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) although its real beneficial effect is still controversial. The optimal precise sequence of treatments within the trimodality is unclear, and should be decided upon a multidisciplinary consensus for each individual patient. Here, we analyzed the perioperative data of 19 MPM patients who underwent extended pleurectomy/decortication (EPD) with curative intent. The mean age at diagnosis was 67 years; 11 males and eight females. Ten patients were diagnosed with MPM via medical thoracoscopy (MT), and nine via video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). The vast majority of cases harbored epitheliod forms. We compared neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) followed by surgery (11 cases) versus surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT, 8 cases) within a 3-year period. All patients had extended pleurectomy/decortication and none had an extended pneumonectomy. Analysis of survival curves suggested that the short-term outcomes are better with upfront EDP followed by ACT if compared to EDP preceded by NCT. Although limited, the data highlighted the safety and feasibility of EPD, with manageable postoperative complications and no major burden for the patients.