Lung Cancer 2021 June [Link]

Frédéric Larose, Nicholas Quigley, Yves Lacasse, Simon Martel, Loïc Lang-Lazdunski


Objectives: Medical management based on palliative chemotherapy is currently the standard of care in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Median survival of 12-16 months has been reported with modern chemotherapy regimens with or without anti-angiogenic agents. Multimodality therapy incorporating cytoreductive surgery, systemic chemotherapy and radiotherapy has been offered for years to fit patients with early-stage disease, but its role remains debated. Our objective was to compare overall survival in patients offered multimodality therapy in a specialized clinic setting in London, UK to that of patients offered exclusively medical treatment at another academic institution in Quebec, Canada.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively compared the survival rates of 2 separate cohorts of patients treated consecutively: Cohort 1 (n = 106) received multimodality therapy including systemic chemotherapy, extended pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) and prophylactic radiotherapy in London (United Kingdom) between 2009 and 2016, while Cohort 2 (n = 98) received medical treatment at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute (Canada) during the same period.

Results: In Cohort 1, all patients but two completed trimodality therapy. In cohort 2, 51 % received palliative care only and 40 % received systemic chemotherapy. Median survival was 32 months vs 10 months in Cohort 1 and Cohort 2, respectively (hazard ratio with age, gender, pathology and TNM staging as covariates: 3.81; 95 % CI: 2.67-5.45; p < 0.0001). Similar results were obtained in sensitivity analyses, after excluding those who received best supportive care only and in a propensity score-matched analysis.

Conclusion: Aggressive therapy of MPM using cancer-directed surgery, systemic chemotherapy and prophylactic radiotherapy may provide a significant survival benefit in selected patients.