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SEOM Guidelines For The Treatment Of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

P. Lianes, J. Remon, I. Bover, D. Isla
Published 2011 · Medicine

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Mesothelioma is a rare malignant tumour. Asbestos is the principal aetiological agent of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) (∼80% of cases). The incidence of MPM is still increasing and will peak within the next 10 years. There are three main histological types of MPM: epithelial (∼60%), sarcomatous and mixed. There is no standard approach for patients with MPM. Surgery (radical extra-pleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy/decortication) may be part of the initial treatment for carefully selected patients, generally combined with neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy and/or adjuvant radiotherapy, and should only be performed by experienced thoracic surgeons as part of a multidisciplinary team. Radiotherapy could be used as prophylaxis to reduce the incidence of recurrence at sites of diagnoses or therapeutic instrument insertion, in a multimodal treatment to improve locoregional control and to palliate symptoms. Based on the better compliance of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, lower rate of surgical morbidity and the possibility to select the optimal patients to be submitted to surgery, a neoadjuvant strategy is a better option than adjuvant chemotherapy, although there is no standard optimal sequence and types of treatment for multimodal therapy. In patients with no resectable disease, chemotherapy is the best option with platinum and pemetrexed or raltitrexed. At this time there is no widely approved salvage therapy.
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