European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery 2017 May [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Casiraghi M, Maisonneuve P, Brambilla D, Solli P, Galetta D, Petrella F, Piperno G, De Marinis F, Spaggiari L


While the best approach to malignant pleural mesothelioma has yet to be demonstrated, surgery remains the mainstay of treatment. We analysed a group of candidates for trimodality treatment, aiming to identify prognostic factors guiding patient selection.
Between 2003 and 2015, 83 (31.6%) of the 283 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma were considered for trimodality treatment to perform induction chemotherapy, extrapleural pneumonectomy and adjuvant radiotherapy. All patients underwent cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Radiotherapy was administered at a mean dose of 50.4 Gy.
Thirty-six patients (43.4%) had 3 cycles of chemotherapy, whereas 21 (25.3%) had more than 3. Progression to chemotherapy was observed in 10.9% (9 of 83) of patients, partial response in 30.1% (25 of 83) and stable disease in 59% (49 of 83). Sixty-three patients underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy. Fifty-five patients (87.3%) had epithelial tumour. Forty-two patients (66.7%) were in pathological Stage 3. Major complications after extrapleural pneumonectomy were observed in 28 patients (44.4%), whereas 30-day postoperative mortality was 11.1% (7/63). Radiotherapy was not administered in 24 patients (38.1%) due to major complications after surgery or patient intolerance. Two patients (3.2%) died within 90 days after the end of radiotherapy. The trimodality treatment was completed in 37 (44.6%) patients. Median overall survival was 35.6 months, with 1- and 3-year overall survival of 82% and 48% for patients who completed the trimodality treatment compared with 32% and 14% for patients who did not undergo radiotherapy.
Only 45% of patients completed the planned trimodality treatment, and morbidity/mortality remained high. Nonetheless, the patients who completed treatment showed good loco-regional disease control and better overall survival.