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J Thorac Oncol. 2017 Nov;12(11):1704-1714. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2017.08.012. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

National Cancer Database Report on Pneumonectomy Versus Lung-Sparing Surgery for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.
Oncora Medical, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic address:



Controversy exists regarding the optimal surgical technique for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). We evaluated national practice patterns and outcomes of MPM treated with extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) versus lung-sparing extended pleurectomy/decortication (P/D).


The National Cancer Database was queried for patients with newly diagnosed MPM undergoing EPP or P/D. Multivariable logistic regression ascertained clinical factors independently associated with P/D receipt. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to evaluate overall survival (OS) between cohorts; multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to evaluate factors associated with OS. Survival was then evaluated between propensity-matched populations.


Overall, 1307 patients (271 undergoing EPP [21%] and 1036 undergoing P/D [79%]) met the criteria. Patients receiving P/D were older (p = 0.028), whereas those undergoing EPP were more likely to live in a rural area (p = 0.044), live farther from the treating facility (p = 0.039), and receive treatment at an academic center (p = 0.050). There were no differences between cohorts in 30-day readmission or mortality (all p > 0.05). The median OS times in the EPP and P/D groups were 19 versus 16 months, respectively (p = 0.120); no differences were observed after propensity matching (p = 0.540).


In this largest analysis of its kind to date, findings from this contemporary cohort demonstrate that P/D comprised most surgical procedures for MPM. Procedure type was influenced by sociodemographic and geographical factors, without observed differences in survival or postoperative mortality and readmission rates between techniques.


Mesothelioma; Pleurectomy; Pneumonectomy; Radiation therapy; Surgery

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