Physical function and health-related quality of life in patients undergoing surgical treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma

Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer 2017 March [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Tanaka T, Morishita S, Hashimoto M, Itani Y, Mabuchi S, Kodama N, Hasegawa S, Domen K


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare cancer that affects the thin cell wall lining of internal organs and structures. Studies have shown that patients with lung cancer have decreased pulmonary function and exercise capacity after pneumonectomy. However, to date, physical function and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in surgically treated MPM patients have not been evaluated in detail. The aim of this study was to assess physical function and HRQOL of MPM patients following pleurectomy/decortication (P/D).
The subjects were 22 MPM patients (20 men and 2 women) who completed P/D between December 2013 and March 2015. Physical function was assessed using handgrip strength and knee extensor strength tests, the 6-min walk distance (6MWD), and pulmonary function tests, including forced expiratory vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). HRQOL was assessed using the Medical Outcome Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36).
The handgrip strength (P < 0.05), 6MWD, FVC, and FEV1 values following P/D decreased significantly compared to baseline (P < 0.001 for each comparison). Additionally, scores of three of the eight SF-36 domains were significantly lower following P/D: physical functioning (P < 0.001), body pain (P = 0.002), and vitality (P = 0.005). 6MWD correlated role physical (P < 0.05) and vitality (P < 0.01). Significant correlations were also observed between FEV1 and physical functioning (P < 0.05) and social functioning (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Patients with MPM who completed P/D have decreased physical function and HRQOL. Following surgery, exercise capacity and pulmonary function decreased more than limb muscle strength. Physicians, nurses, and rehabilitation staff should note these findings, which may provide insight into the development of customized rehabilitation strategies for patients with MPM who completed P/D.