Malignant pleural mesothelioma: an update on diagnosis and treatment options

Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Disease 2016 February 12 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Kondola S, Manners D, Nowak AK.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) represents a significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenge and is almost always a fatal disease. Imaging abnormalities are common, but have a limited role in distinguishing mesothelioma from metastatic pleural disease. Similarly, minimally invasive biomarkers have shown promise but also have limitations in the diagnosis of mesothelioma. In experienced centers, cytology and immunohistochemistry are now sufficient to diagnose the epithelioid subtype of mesothelioma, which can reduce the need for more invasive diagnostic investigations. Prognosis of MPM is modestly impacted by oncological treatments. Chemotherapy with cisplatin and pemetrexed is considered the standard of care, though the addition of bevacizumab to the platinum doublet may be the new standard of care. New targeted therapies have demonstrated some promise and are being addressed in clinical trials. This review focuses on the current data on the diagnostic and therapeutic issues of MPM.