Operation and photodynamic therapy for pleural mesothelioma: 6-year follow-up

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Conventional therapy for pleural mesothelioma has met with disappointing results.


From 1991 to 1996, 40 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma were treated with surgical resection followed by immediate intracavitary photodynamic therapy.


The series included 9 women and 31 men with a mean age of 60 years. Morbidity and treatment-related mortality rates for the entire series, pleurectomy, and extrapleural pneumonectomy were 45% and 7.5%, 39% and 3.6%, and 71% and 28.6%, respectively. Median survival and the estimated 2-year survival rate for the entire series, stages I and II patients (n = 13), and stages III and IV patients (n = 24) were 15 months and 23%, 36 months and 61%, and 10 months and 0%, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified stage, length of hospital stay, photodynamic therapy dose, and nodal status as independent prognostic indicators for survival.


Surgical intervention and photodynamic therapy offer good survival results in patients with stage I or II pleural mesothelioma. For patients in stage III or IV, better treatment modalities need to be developed. Improvements in early detection and preoperative staging are necessary for proper patient selection for treatment.

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