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Malignant pleural mesothelioma: a comprehensive review.

BACKGROUND: The incidence of malignant mesothelioma continues to increase, but the disease remains difficult to detect early and treat effectively.

METHODS: The authors review the pathogenesis, incidence, clinical presentation, diagnosis, pathology, and both standard and experimental treatments for mesothelioma cancer.

RESULTS: When possible, mesothelioma surgery (video-assisted thoracoscopy, pleurectomy/decortication, or extrapleural pneumonectomy) is utilized. Effects on underlying structures limit application of radiation therapy, but some systemic agents are beginning to enhance survival rate.

CONCLUSIONS: Malignant mesothelioma is expected to increase in incidence till 2020, so awareness of this entity as a possible diagnosis should be heightened. In patients with advanced mesothelioma disease, several newer antitumor agents are already showing a capability of extending survival so it is not unreasonable to expect further progress in this area.

Sources

PMID: 17075562 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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