Surgery as part of radical treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To review the latest developments in surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma both in patient selection, surgical technique, and strategy.

Recent findings

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer mesothelioma staging project has produced data to inform the 8th tumour node metastasis revision. The difficulty in clinical N staging and clinical T staging are highlighted and the importance of tumour volume is recognized. New imaging techniques can be utilized to assess tumour volume. The transition from extrapleural pneumonectomy to lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication has extended the role of cancer-directed surgery into a more elderly population. More aggressive multimodality regimes, including induction radiotherapy are available to a selected population and adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy are feasible in the elderly majority. Additional chemotherapy should not be delayed in those with poorer prognosis node positive, nonepithelioid disease.

Summary

Radical surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma can achieve significant survival when targeted in those with the best prognosis by careful staging. It can be made more accessible by lung preservation without compromising outcome. It should be part of multimodality therapy.

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