BMC Cancer 2018 November 29 [Link]

Schwartz RM, Lieberman-Cribbin W, Wolf A, Flores RM, Taioli E


Few studies have focused on quality of life (QoL) after treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). There are still questions as to which surgical procedure, extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy decortication (P/D) is most effective and results in better survival outcomes, involves fewer complications, and results in better QoL. Here we performed a literature review on MPM patients to assess and compare QoL changes after P/D and EPP.
Research articles concerning QoL after mesothelioma surgery were identified through May 2018 in Medline. For inclusion, studies were 1) cohort or randomized controlled trials (RCT) design, 2) included standardized QoL instruments, 3) reported QoL measurement after surgery, 4) described the type of surgery performed (EPP or P/D), 5) were written in English. Measures of lung function (FEV1, FVC) and measures from the EORTC-C30 were compared 6 months following surgery with preoperative values.
QoL data was extracted from 17 articles (14 datasets), encompassing 659 patients (102 EPP, 432 P/D); the available evidence was of low quality. While two studies directly compared QoL between the two surgical procedures, additional data was available from one arm of two RCTs, as the RCTs were not comparing EPP and P/D. The remaining data was reported from observational studies. While QoL was still compromised 6 months following surgery, from the limited and low quality data available it would appear that P/D patients had better QoL than EPP patients across all measures. Physical function, social function and global health were better at follow-up for P/D than for EPP, while other indicators such as pain and cough were similar. Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1) and Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) were reported in one study only, and were higher at follow-up for P/D compared to EPP.
Although the existing evidence is limited and of low quality, it suggests that P/D patients have better QoL than EPP patients following surgery. QoL outcomes should be factored into the choice of surgical procedure for MPM patients, and the possible effects on lung function and QoL should be discussed with patients when presenting surgical treatment options.