Recurrence of mesothelioma after a macroscopic complete resection procedure: is a second radical surgery justified?

Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 2021 January 26 [Link]

Hany Hasan Elsayed, Aly Sherif Hassaballa, Taha Aly Ahmed, Hazem Youssef Sharkawy


A best evidence topic was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was: In patients with mesothelioma who develop a local recurrence after macroscopic complete resection (MCR) surgery, does performing a second radical surgery lead to improvement in survival? A total of 2076 papers were identified using the reported search, of which 3 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, date, journal, country, study type, population, outcomes and key results are tabulated. The 2 largest studies included 16 patients each who underwent a second surgery for radical resection of recurrence after MCR for mesothelioma. One study (with 16 chest wall resections) had no in-hospital mortality, whereas the other study showed 2/16 (12.5%) patients dying in the hospital, both of whom had a contralateral pleurectomy. One study correlated the median survival after the second surgery with the time to recurrence and epithelioid pathology. The other study showed better post-recurrence survival after a second surgery, with patients having a significantly longer median post-recurrence survival (16 months) compared with those who received other types of second-line therapy (9 months) and those who received no therapy at all (2 months) (P < 0.0005), although selection bias is a possibility. The last study included 8 patients who underwent a second surgery for radical intent after MCR for mesothelioma. The median time to recurrence was 29 months and the survival after second surgery was 14.5 months with no correlation to disease-free interval (expected due to the small number of patients). In patients presenting with recurrence of mesothelioma after an MCR procedure, radical surgery to resect the recurrent tumour could have a role in improvement of survival in selected patients. Positive prognostic factors include epithelioid pathology and a longer disease-free interval after the first procedure.