Localised malignant pleural mesothelioma: a separate clinical entity requiring aggressive local surgery

European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. 2007 Dec 20 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Nakas A, Martin-Ucar AE, Edwards JG, Waller DA.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QP, UK.


Objective: Localised malignant pleural mesotheliomas are very rare and although there are sporadic reports in the literature showing that they have a different biological behaviour compared to diffuse MPM there is no major series published demonstrating results of surgical treatment. We present our experience in treating these tumours.

Methods: Over an 8-year period we performed radical or debulking surgery in 218 patients with MPM. Ten of these patients had localised chest wall tumours and a biopsy either highly suspicious or confirming malignant pleural mesothelioma. They were all male with an average age of 65.9 (56–80) years. Three of the tumours were epithelioid, three biphasic and three sarcomatoid. They all had chest wall resections, with limited lung resections where the tumours were infiltrating the lung and reconstruction using a double prolene mesh and orthopaedic cement. Perioperative events and long-term survival were analysed and survival was compared to survival
following operations for diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Results: There was no 30-day mortality with only two patients suffering from pleural collections that required ultrasound guided drainage 2 and 8 weeks after the operation. Two patients died from disease progression 3 and 10 months after the operation. Using Kaplan–Meier analysis the mean survival was 56 months.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that surgery is indicated in treating localised MPM even in T4 (diffuse chest wall involvement) tumours but pleuropneumonectomy is not necessary. These tumours seem to have a different biological behaviour compared to diffuse MPM but further research, including identification of possibly different biological markers is necessary.

Keywords: Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Localised; Surgery