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Thorac Surg Clin. 2004 Nov;14(4):523-30.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy for diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma: techniques and complications.

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  • 1Division of Thoracic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Innovative therapeutic agents and strategies are being investigated to improve survival with this lethal disease. New chemotherapy agents, including gemcitabine (Eli Lilly and Company; Indianapolis, Indiana) and pemtrexed (Eli Lilly and Company) show promise against mesothelioma. Kaiser has reported using novel therapies, such as cytokines and suicide gene therapy, to target mesothelioma. Pass et al , Moskal et al , Schouwink et al , and Friedberg et al have applied photodynamic therapy to the hemithorax after surgical resection. Because recurrence of mesothelioma after surgical resections tends be locoregional rather than distant , strategies to improve local control may be beneficial. Several groups, including our Brigham and Women's Hospital Thoracic Surgery Division and Dana Farber Thoracic Oncology Program, are investigating intraoperative intracavitary lavage of hyperthermic chemotherapy immediately after EP (discussed elsewhere in this issue). Although mesothelioma remains a difficult disease to treat, the techniques of surgical resection for mesothelioma have improved dramatically. Currently, EPP can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality at experienced centers.

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