Radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2005 Dec;19(6):1099-115. [Link]

Stevens CW, Forster KM, Smythe WR, Rice D.

Division of Radiation Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Three to four thousand cases of malignant pleural mesothelioma will occur in the United States this year. Single-modality therapy with radiation plays a role for palliation. Radiation can prevent tumor recurrence at drain/instrumentation sites and provide symptomatic relief of pain and other complaints. Combinations of surgery and radiation also have been attempted. The preponderance of death from distant metastases makes the development of better systemic therapy essential. Better therapy also must be developed for patients who are not candidates for extrapleural pneumonectomy, because only a small minority of such patients can be cured with less aggressive surgery, radiation, or combined modality therapy. Locoregional tumor recurrence can be eliminated with combinations of extrapleural pneumonectomy and radiation therapy. Survival in early-stage patients is excellent.