Send to

Choose Destination
ISRN Surg. 2014 Feb 3;2014:817203. doi: 10.1155/2014/817203. eCollection 2014.

Surgical management of malignant pleural mesothelioma: impact of surgery on survival and quality of life-relation to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and alternative therapies.

Author information

Cardiothoracic Directorate, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK.
Biomedical Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, Portland Way, Leeds LS1 3HE, UK.



Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer arising from pleural mesothelium. Surgery aims to either cure the disease or control the symptoms. Two surgical procedures exist: extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). In this systematic review we assess current evidence on safety and efficacy of surgery.


Five electronic databases were reviewed from January 1990 to January 2013. Studies were selected according to a predefined protocol. Primary endpoint was overall survival. Secondary endpoints included quality of life, disease-free survival, disease recurrence, morbidity, and length of hospital stay.


Sixteen studies were included. Median survival ranged from 8.1 to 32 months for P/D and from 6.9 to 46.9 months for EPP. Perioperative mortality was 0%-9.8% and 3.2%-12.5%, respectively. Perioperative morbidity was 5.9%-55% for P/D and 10%-82.6% for EPP. Average length of stay was 7 days for P/D and 9 days for EPP.


Current evidence cannot definitively answer which procedure (EPP or P/D) is more beneficial in terms of survival and operative risks. This systematic review suggests that surgery in the context of trimodality therapy offers acceptable perioperative outcomes and long-term survival. Centres specialising in MPM management have better results.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center