Medline: 8501504

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 11(6): 1172-1178, 1993. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 11(6): 1172-1178, 1993. may be available online for subscribers.

Node status has prognostic significance in the multimodality therapy of diffuse, malignant mesothelioma.

Sugarbaker DJ, Strauss GM, Lynch TJ, et al.


We studied a multimodality approach using extrapleural pneumonectomy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Patients and Methods:
From 1980 to 1992, 52 selected patients, underwent treatment. Median age was 53 years (range, 33 to 69). Initial patient evaluation was performed by a multimodality team. Pathologic diagnosis was reviewed and confirmed before therapy. Patients with no medical contraindication and potentially resectable mesothelioma on computed tomography (CT) (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] when it became available) received extrapleural pneumonectomy, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (CAP) chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

Perioperative morbidity and mortality rates were 17% and 5.8%, respectively. The overall median survival duration is 16 months (range, 1 month to 8 years). The 32 patients with epithelial histologic variant had 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates of 77%, 50%, and 42%, respectively. Patients with mixed and sarcomatous cell disease had 1- and 2-year survival rates of 45% and 7.5%; no patient lived longer than 25 months (P < .01). At resection, positive regional mediastinal lymph nodes were found in 13. Positive lymph nodes were associated with poorer survival than were negative nodes (P < .01). Patients with epithelial variant and negative mediastinal lymph nodes had a survival rate of 45% at 5 years.

Multimodality therapy including extrapleural pneumonectomy has acceptable morbidity and mortality for selected patients. Prolonged survival occurred in patients with epithelial histologic variant and negative mediastinal lymph nodes. These data provide a rationale for a revised staging system for malignant pleural mesothelioma; furthermore, they permit stratification of patients into groups likely to benefit from aggressive multimodality treatment.

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Dr. G. Quade