Intrapleural Anticancer Therapy for Malignant Pleural Diseases: Facts or Fiction?

Seminars in Respiratory Critical Care Medicine 2023 August [Link]

Abhinav Agrawal, Udit Chaddha, Samira Shojaee, Fabien Maldonado


Malignant pleural diseases involves both primary pleural malignancies (e.g., mesothelioma) as well as metastatic disease involving the pleura. The management of primary pleural malignancies remains a challenge, given their limited response to conventional treatments such as surgery, systemic chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. In this article, we aimed to review the management of primary pleural malignancy as well as malignant pleural effusion and assess the current state of intrapleural anticancer therapies. We review the role intrapleural chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and immunogene therapy, as well as oncolytic viral, therapy and intrapleural drug device combination. We further discuss that while the pleural space offers a unique opportunity for local therapy as an adjuvant option to systemic therapy and may help decrease some of the systemic side effects, further patient outcome-oriented research is needed to determine the exact role of these treatments within the armamentarium of currently available options.