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J Thorac Oncol. 2012 Nov;7(11):1631-9. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31826915f1.

Initial analysis of the international association for the study of lung cancer mesothelioma database.

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Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.



The current staging system for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is controversial. To plan revisions of this system, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Staging Committee developed an international database. Initial analyses focus on patients managed surgically.


Participation was solicited from centers known to have MPM registries. Common data elements were analyzed by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Staging Committee Statistical Center. Survival was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method, prognostic factors by log rank and Cox regression model. p Value less than 0.05 was significant.


Data included 3101 patients (15 centers, 4 continents).


median age 63 years, 79% men, 62.3% epithelioid tumor. Best tumor, node, metastasis (bTNM) stages were: I (11%), II, (21%), III (48%), and IV (20%). Curative-intent surgery was performed in 1494 patients (64.5%). Median survivals by clinical TNM and pathological TNM were similar: stage I, 21 months; stage II, 19 months; stage III, 16 months; and stage IV, 12 months. Median survival by histology: epithelioid 19 months, biphasic 13 months, and sarcomatoid 8 months. By multivariable analyses, significant differences in overall survival were seen for: T4 versus T3 and T3 versus T2 but not T2 versus T1; N0 versus N1 and N2 but not N1 versus N2; stages III and IV versus I but not II versus I; epithelioid histology versus other; age of female versus age of male; and palliative versus curative-intent surgery.


This is the largest international database examining outcomes in surgically managed MPM patients. Survival differences reported from smaller databases are confirmed but suggest the need to revise tumor and node staging.

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