Malignant pleural mesothelioma: a comprehensive review

Cancer Control. 2006 Oct;13(4):255-63. [Link]

Ismail-Khan R, Robinson LA, Williams CC Jr, Garrett CR, Bepler G, Simon GR.

Thoracic Oncology Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Background: The incidence of malignant mesothelioma continues to increase, but the disease remains difficult to detect early and treat effectively.

Methods: The authors review the pathogenesis, incidence, clinical presentation, diagnosis, pathology, and both standard and experimental treatments for mesothelioma.

Results: When possible, surgery (video-assisted thoracoscopy, pleurectomy/decortication, or extrapleural pneumonectomy) is utilized. Effects on underlying structures limit application of radiation therapy, but some systemic agents are beginning to enhance survival.

Conclusions: The disease is expected to increase in incidence till 2020, so awareness of this entity as a possible diagnosis should be heightened. In patients with advanced disease, several newer antitumor agents are already showing a capability of extending survival so it is not unreasonable to expect further progress in this area.