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Trimodality management of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

OBJECTIVE: We reviewed our experience with trimodality management of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

METHODS: From September 1998 to August 2000, 32 consecutive patients with histological diagnosis of MPM underwent trimodality therapy, including mesothelioma surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery consisted of pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) or pleural-pericardial-pneumonectomy and diaphragm (PPPD). Pre-operative staging according to the Brigham Staging System was accomplished using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); patients with evident extrapleural spread were excluded.

RESULTS: Our series included 21 men and 11 women with a median age of 53.5 years (range 40-69). Histologically, there were 26 epithelial, four mixed and two sarcomatous MPM. Post-surgical staging was as follows: six patients were at Stage 1; of these, two received a P/D and four a PPPD. Ten patients were at Stage 2 and all received a PPPD; 16 patients were at Stage 3 (under-staged pre-operatively): of these, nine patients presented extrapleural lymph node metastases (N2) and all received a PPPD, seven patients presented with chest wall or mediastinal invasion (T4) with macroscopic residual tumour, and all received a de-bulking P/D. We observed major complications in ten patients: six bleeding, two respiratory insufficiency and two nerve paralysis. There were two perioperative deaths (6.25% mortality). Twenty-seven patients out of 30 surviving surgery had a follow-up greater than 6 months; 21 patients out of 27 are alive with a median follow-up of 12.5 months.

CONCLUSIONS: (1) Trimodality therapy is feasible in selected patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma and has an acceptable operative mortality rate. (2) Our current pre-operative staging based on CT/MRI looks rather inaccurate and needs to be improved. (3) The high rate of post-surgical N2 patients or with diffusion to the inferior surface of the diaphragm may suggest the use of routine mediastinoscopy and laparoscopy for a more appropriate patient selection.

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PMID: 11251277 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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