TREATMENT OF MALIGNANT MESOTHELIOMA (REVIEW)
Affiliations: Affliations not specified
- Published online on: December 1, 1995 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.7.6.1415
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Malignant mesothelioma (MM) has a very variable natural history. Its known relationship to asbestos exposure is often difficult to establish in a particular patient in view of a long preceding latency period of up to 40+ years. Survival depends on several prognostic factors including histological type, stage, performance status, resectability, and response to radiation and chemotherapy (CT). The assessment of the therapeutic impact on survival is usually difficult due to the different treatment philosophies and selections of patients in various clinical trials. Combined modality treatment approaches seem to offer the best outcomes, with occasional long-term disease-free survivors. Unresectable MM presents a difficult therapeutic challenge. In patients treated with systemic CT the median survival time (MST) in the range of 6 to 12 months and the 2 year survival of <20% are typical. The MST in excess of 20 months and the 2 year survival in the range of 40% have been reported in a few multimodality therapy trials in patients with at least partially resectable MM. Despite some encouraging therapeutic results in selected patients, the overall response to treatment(s) remains unsatisfactory, and new treatments must be sought.