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Malignant Mesothelioma: Prognostic Variables In A Registry Of 180 Patients, The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute And Brigham And Women's Hospital Experience Over Two Decades, 1965-1985.

K Antman, R Shemin, L Ryan, K Klegar, R Osteen, T Herman, G Lederman, J Corson

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All mesothelioma patients identified by a computer search of pathologic diagnoses at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) between 1965 and 1985 were the subjects of this analysis. A total of 180 patients were identified, 136 with pleural and 37 with peritoneal mesothelioma. There were five pericardial and two testicular primaries. Of the two decades included in the study, later patients were significantly older, with a more advanced disease stage, and a lower performance status than those accrued early in the study. Factors at diagnosis associated with a significantly prolonged survival for all patients with mesothelioma included a 0 to 1 performance status, absence of chest pain, age less than 50 years, and epithelial histology. Factors at diagnosis associated with prolonged survival for the subset of patients with pleural mesothelioma included epithelial histology, 0 to 1 performance status, the absence of chest pain, an interval of greater than 6 months from onset of symptoms, and treatment with chemotherapy and pleuropneumonectomy. This last result must be interpreted with caution, since this was not a randomized study.