Diaphragm and lung–preserving surgery with hyperthermic chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma: A 10-year experience

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The best surgical treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma is still under a debate, but recent evidence points toward a less-invasive approach to reduce morbidity and mortality. We reported our 10-year experience of a limited surgical approach associated with hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy (HITHOC).

Material and Methods:

Between 2005 and 2014, patients with epithelioid or biphasic malignant pleural mesothelioma were treated with lung–diaphragm–pericardium-sparing pleurectomy associated with double-drug HITHOC; at least 3 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy were then administered. The primary outcome examined was the feasibility of the procedure, whereas secondary outcomes were overall survival and disease-free interval.


Among 49 patients, 41 were male. Median age was 68 years (35-76 years). Histology was epithelioid in 43 cases. Pathologic stage I, II, III, and IV occurred in 12, 14, 20, and 3 cases, respectively. No intraoperative complications or postoperative mortality occurred, whereas morbidity rate was 46.9%. Median hospital stay was 8 days (5-45 days). Actuarial median overall survival was 22 months and a 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival accounted for 79.6%, 45.7%, and 9.9%, respectively. Disease-free survival after surgery was 62%, 37.5%, and 18.5% at 1, 2, and 5 years, respectively. Risk factors analysis for overall survival confirmed a significant role for early stages, epithelioid histology, and fibrinogen serum levels.


Cytoreductive surgery associated with HITHOC and adjuvant chemotherapy appears feasible and safe, with no mortality and low morbidity. Preserving lung and diaphragmatic function might warrant an acceptable long-term outcome.

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