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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2005 February;18(1):1-6

language: Italian

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: diagnostic difficulty and therapeutic strategy

Russo A.


Mesotheliomas are primary tumors arising from mesothelial cells of serosal surfaces. According to frequency, the following localizations are observed: pleural malignancy (60-70%), followed by the peritoneal ones (30-35%) and, finally, pericardial and testicular vaginal lamina derived forms. In 75% of subjects, these neoplasms appear as a diffuse form, highly aggressive and rapidly evolving, while only 25% is represented by benign forms, generally localized and slowly progressing. The most important etiological factor is asbestos, since its microfilaments, due to the peculiar tropism for mesothelial tissues, migrate into serosal lamina and cause a chronic irritative stimulus. In the localized forms of the disease, surgery, associated with polychemotherapy and radiotherapy, when possible, such as for pleural tumors, is the only palliative therapeutic treatment; unfortunately it has a radical result only in a very poor percentage of patients, and data on survival are still very depressing since, even for early stages, survival does not exceed 2 years.

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