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Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2008 Jun;9(2-3):158-70. doi: 10.1007/s11864-008-0070-4. Epub 2008 Aug 29.

Diagnosis, staging, and surgical treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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  • 1Thoracic Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



The clinical presentation of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is nonspecific. The process to obtain the correct diagnosis can be challenging and requires a high index of suspicion. Once the diagnosis is made, there is no universally accepted standard of care and treatment decisions are strongly influenced by physician bias. Physicians who see few numbers of patients tend to treat based on symptoms alone by drainage of the pleural effusion and talc pleurodesis, while physicians at several tertiary referral centers tend to take an aggressive multimodality approach incorporating surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation. The primary goal of surgery in this setting is the resection of all gross disease. The choice of operation, extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D), depends on disease stage, pulmonary function, philosophy of the treating physician, and type of planned adjuvant therapy.

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