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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2001 June;56(3):243-50

language: Italian

Treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma

Melloni G., Puglisi A., Ferraroli G. M., Carretta A., Ceresoli G., Calori G., Zannini P.


Background. In this study all patients observed between January 1993 and October 1997 with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) have been analyzed in order to describe the impact of treatment modality on survival.
Methods. Medical records of 56 patients with MPM (44 male, 12 female, median age = 59 yrs) were reviewed. In 34 cases the histotype was ephithelial, in 4 sarcomatoid, in 4 mixed, in 3 desmoplastic, and in 11 not specified. Four treatment modalities were identified: 1) Surgery (subtotal pleurectomy) = 20 patients; 2) Chemoterapy = 19 patients; 3) Surgery+Chemo-therapy = 8 patients; 4) Supportive care = 9 patients.
Results. The median survival was: 1) Surgery = 12.4 months; 2) Chemotherapy = 7.5 months; 3) Surgery+Chemotherapy = 12 months; 4) Supportive care = 11.4 months. Using univariate analysis, 8 prognostic factors were studied (age, sex, asbestos exposure, side, histotype, performance status, stage, treatment). Among these, only the stage and the performance status had shown a prognostic value on survival (p<0.05), while the treatment modality had not significantly influenced the prognosis. Using multivariate analysis only performance status showed to be significatively associated with survival (p=0.01 and odds ratio = 1.9, I.C. 1.2-3.2).
Conclusions. Despite the limits of a retrospective study, personal experience confirms the ineffectiveness of current therapeutical approaches to MPM. A better understanding of MPM is required to develop new therapeutical approaches and alter the dismal prognosis of this disease.

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