Impact of hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy (HITHOC) during resection of pleural mesothelioma on patient survival

Journal of Thoracic Diseases 2023 November [Link]

Irmina A Elliott, Hao He, Natalie S Lui, Douglas Z Liou, Brandon A Guenthart, Joseph B Shrager, Mark F Berry, Leah M Backhus


Background: Pleural mesothelioma (PM) is rare but portends a poor prognosis. Multimodal treatment, including aggressive surgical resection, may offer the best chance of treatment response and improved survival. Single-center studies suggest that hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy (HITHOC) during surgical resection improves outcomes, but the impact of HITHOC on postoperative morbidity and survival has not been examined on a larger scale.

Methods: The National Cancer Database was queried for patients undergoing resection for PM from 2006-2017. Patients were excluded if staging or survival data was incomplete. After propensity-score matching, patients who underwent HITHOC were compared to patients who did not (case-control study). Perioperative outcomes and survival were analyzed.

Results: The final cohort consisted of 3,232 patients; of these, 365 patients underwent HITHOC. After propensity-score matching, receipt of HITHOC was associated with increased length of stay (12 vs. 7 days, P<0.001) and increased 30-day readmissions (9.9% vs. 4.9%, P=0.007), but decreased 30-day mortality (3.2% vs. 6.0%, P=0.017) and 90-day mortality (7.5% vs. 10.9%). Kaplan-Meier modeling demonstrated that HITHOC was associated with improved survival in the overall cohort (median 20.5 vs. 16.8 months, P=0.001). In multivariable analysis, HITHOC remained associated with improved overall survival [hazard ratio (HR) =0.80; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.69-0.92; P=0.002], and this persisted in the propensity-matched analysis (HR =0.73; 95% CI: 0.61-0.88; P=0.001).

Conclusions: Using a large national database, we describe the impact of HITHOC on survival in patients with PM. Despite observed increased short-term morbidity, in multivariable analysis HITHOC was associated with an overall survival advantage for patients undergoing surgical resection of PM.