Long-term outcomes after lung-sparing surgery for epithelial mesothelioma

Journal of Thoracic Disease 2021 November [Link]

Cristiano Breda, Simone Furia, Giuseppe Lucchini, Antonio Zaccaria, Enrico Verderi, Giuseppe Natale, Fabio Lo Giudice, Roberta Cavallin, Andrea Ferronato, Paolo Fontana


Background: This observational study evaluates retrospectively the long-term outcomes after pleurectomy/decortication for pleural mesothelioma, with and without the resection/reconstruction of diaphragm and pericardium.

Methods: Data from 155 consecutive patients undergoing lung-sparing surgery for epithelial pleural mesothelioma were reviewed. Selection criteria for surgery were cT1-3, cN0-1, good performance status, age <80 years. Perioperative Pemetrexed-Platinum regimen was administered as induction in 101 cases (65.2%) and as adjuvant treatment in 54 cases (34.8%). Extended pleurectomy/decortication was performed in 87 cases (56.12%). In 68 patients (43.87%) standard pleurectomy/decortication was performed without resection/reconstruction of diaphragm and pericardium, when tumour infiltration was deemed absent after intraoperative frozen section. The log-rank test and Cox regression model were used to assess the factors affecting overall survival and recurrence free survival.

Results: Median follow-up was 20 months. The 2- and 5-year survival rate was 60.9% and 29.2% with a median survival of 34 months. An improved survival was observed when standard pleurectomy/decortication was carried out (P=0.007). A significant impact on survival was found comparing the TNM-stages (P=0.001), pT (P=0.002) and pN variables (P=0.001). Multivariate analysis identified the pN-status (P=0.003) and standard pleurectomy/decortication (P=0.017) as predictive for longer survival. The recurrence-free survival >12 months was strongly related to the overall survival (P<0.001). The macroscopic complete resection (P=0.001), TNM-stage (P=0.003) and pT-status (P=0.001) are related to relapse.

Conclusions: Within multimodal management of pleural mesothelioma, lung-sparing surgery is a valid option even with more conservative technique. A benefit for a longer survival was observed in the early stage of disease, with pN0 and when pleurectomy/decortication is carried out, preserving diaphragm and pericardium. Recurrence is not affected by the type of surgery, and a recurrence-free interval >12 months is predictive of an increased survival when the macroscopic complete resection is achieved.