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Pleuropneumonectomy in the Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma*

Sean C. Grondin, MD; David J. Sugarbaker, MD, FCCP
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*From the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Correspondence to: David J. Sugarbaker, MD, FCCP, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115



Chest. 1999;116(suppl_3):450S-454S. doi:10.1378/chest.116.suppl_3.450S
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Study objectives: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is predominantly a local/regional disease that results in a survival time that ranges from 4 to 12 months without treatment. Single-modality therapy using surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy alone is largely ineffective. The objective of the study was presentation of the use of pleuropneumonectomy in a multimodality treatment setting and the results.

Design: Didactic presentation.

Setting: Academic tertiary-care hospital.

Patients: One hundred eighty-three patients who underwent multimodality therapy.

Interventions: Of all the single-modality treatment approaches, pleuropneumonectomy has been associated most consistently with long-term disease-free survival and has provided the greatest amount of tumor cytoreduction. The technique of pleuropneumonectomy traditionally has been linked with high perioperative mortality and morbidity when compared with that of other cytoreductive techniques such as pleurectomy/decortication. Recently, improvements in operative mortality (< 5%) have been reported, largely due to improvements in patient selection and perioperative management. Multimodality therapy, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and extrapleural pneumonectomy, was used to treat patients.

Results: Outcomes were presented for 183 patients with MPM who underwent multimodality therapy.

Conclusions: With the development of multimodality therapy, pleuropneumonectomy followed by sequential chemotherapy and radiotherapy has demonstrated a significant survival benefit, especially for patients who have epithelial tumor histology, tumor-free resection margins, and tumor-free extrapleural node status.

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