Guidelines of the French Speaking Society for Chest Medicine for management of malignant pleural mesothelioma

Respiratory Medicine. 2006 Nov 28; [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Scherpereel A; French Speaking Society for Chest Medicine (SPLF) Experts Group.

INSERM Unit 774, Institut Pasteur de Lille, France; Pulmonary and Thoracic Oncology Department, University Hospital of Lille, France.


Previously considered as a rare tumor, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has become a very important public health issue. In fact, MPM is a tumor with a poor survival, and its incidence is expected to continue to increase for at least the next 10 years. Asbestos exposure is the main factor involved in MPM pathogenesis. The diagnosis of MPM may be difficult because of differential diagnosis such as pleural benign disease induced by asbestos exposure or pleural metastasis of adenocarcinoma. Management of patients with MPM also remains complicated because they are often referred for evaluation late in the evolution of the disease. Moreover, MPM exhibits a high resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy; only few patients are candidates for radical surgery. New therapeutic strategies such as gene or cell therapy are still on clinical trial. Therefore, an optimal treatment of MPM is not clearly defined yet, despite the introduction of recent drugs.

Between April 2005 and January 2006, the French Speaking Society for Chest Medicine (SPLF), in collaboration with other French scientific societies, brought together experts on mesothelioma to draw up recommendations in order to provide clinicians with clear, concise, up-to-date guidelines on management of MPM, presented in this report.

Keywords: Pleura, Mesothelioma, Guidelines, Asbestos