National Cancer Database Report on Pneumonectomy Versus Lung-Sparing Surgery for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

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Controversy exists regarding the optimal surgical technique for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). We evaluated national practice patterns and outcomes of MPM treated with extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) versus lung-sparing extended pleurectomy/decortication (P/D).


The National Cancer Database was queried for patients with newly diagnosed MPM undergoing EPP or P/D. Multivariable logistic regression ascertained clinical factors independently associated with P/D receipt. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to evaluate overall survival (OS) between cohorts; multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to evaluate factors associated with OS. Survival was then evaluated between propensity-matched populations.


Overall, 1307 patients (271 undergoing EPP [21%] and 1036 undergoing P/D [79%]) met the criteria. Patients receiving P/D were older (p = 0.028), whereas those undergoing EPP were more likely to live in a rural area (p = 0.044), live farther from the treating facility (p = 0.039), and receive treatment at an academic center (p = 0.050). There were no differences between cohorts in 30-day readmission or mortality (all p > 0.05). The median OS times in the EPP and P/D groups were 19 versus 16 months, respectively (p = 0.120); no differences were observed after propensity matching (p = 0.540).


In this largest analysis of its kind to date, findings from this contemporary cohort demonstrate that P/D comprised most surgical procedures for MPM. Procedure type was influenced by sociodemographic and geographical factors, without observed differences in survival or postoperative mortality and readmission rates between techniques.

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