Malignant pleural mesothelioma characteristics and outcomes: A SEER-Medicare analysis

Journal of Surgical Oncology 2023 March 18 [Link]

Emanuela Taioli, Andrea Wolf, Naomi Alpert, Daniel Rosenthal, Raja Flores


Background: Pleural mesothelioma is rare cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Previous research has indicated that female individuals have better survival than male individuals, but this has never been examined in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database.

Materials and methods: Malignant pleural mesothelioma cases diagnosed from 1992 to 2015 were queried from the linked SEER-Medicare database. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the clinical and demographic factors associated with sex. A multivariable Cox proportional hazards model and propensity matching methods were used to assess sex differences in overall survival (OS) while accounting for potential confounders.

Results: Among 4201 patients included in the analysis, 3340 (79.5%) were males and 861 (20.5%) females. Females were significantly older, with more epithelial histology than males were, and had significantly better OS, adjusted for confounders (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.83, 95% confidence interval: 0.76-0.90). Other variables independently associated with improved survival included younger age at diagnosis, having a spouse/domestic partner, epithelial histology, lower comorbidity score, and receipt of surgery or chemotherapy.

Conclusions: The study describes sex differences in mesothelioma occurrence, treatment, and survival and is the first to examine SEER-Medicare. It provides directions for future research into potential therapeutic targets.