Pleurectomy and decortication are associated with better survival for bicavitary cytoreductive surgery for mesothelioma compared with extrapleural pneumonectomy

Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2022 December 14 [Link]

R Taylor Ripley, Hudson M Holmes, Richard S Whitlock 2, Shawn S Groth, Cristian G Medina, Eugene A Choi, Bryan M Burt, Paul H Sugarbaker


Objectives: Mesothelioma is a nearly uniformly fatal tumor. Multimodality therapy including cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy is associated with long-term survival in some patients. Cytoreductive surgery for thoracic disease includes a lung-sparing operation called an “extended pleurectomy/decortication” or a lung-sacrificing surgery called an “extrapleural pneumonectomy.” The benefit of cytoreductive surgery for bicavitary disease (chest and abdomen) is poorly understood. Our objective was to evaluate the long-term survivals for patients undergoing cytoreductive surgery for bicavitary disease and to determine whether any prognostic factors were associated with outcome.

Methods: We reviewed our Institutional Review Board-approved, institutional, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Mesothelioma Staging Project database. Inclusion criteria were all patients who underwent cytoreductive surgery for bicavitary disease. Overall survival was calculated by Kaplan-Meier methodology. All International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer database elements were evaluated by univariable analysis.

Results: From February 2014 to August 2021, 440 patients with mesothelioma were evaluated. Fourteen patients (3%) underwent cytoreductive surgery of both chest and abdomen as a planned 2-stage operation. Most patients (13/14; 93%) underwent chest surgery before abdomen surgery. For the entire cohort, the median overall survival was 33.6 months with a 5-year survival of 20%. Extended pleurectomy/decortication was associated with a better outcome compared with extrapleural pneumonectomy, with median overall survivals of 58.2 versus 13.5 months, respectively.

Conclusions: For a highly selected group of patients with bicavitary mesothelioma, long-term survival can be achieved with an aggressive, staged surgical approach. The patients who undergo extended pleurectomy/decortication with preservation of the lung appear to have more favorable outcomes compared with patients undergoing extrapleural pneumonectomy.