Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Present Status and Future Directions

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a life-threatening neoplasm of the mesothelium, the layer of tissue that covers many organs in the human body. The incidence of this type of neoplasm is gradually ...
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Natural History of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Pp. 25-31 (7)

Anish Thomas and Raffit Hassan


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive tumor of the pleural surfaces which is most closely linked to asbestos exposure. The prognosis of MPM is poor; morbidity and mortality results primarily by local extension or invasion of adjacent structures and less commonly by distant metastasis. Death typically results from extensive local involvement from primary lesions due to respiratory failure or infection. Involvement of the heart or of the abdominal viscera may also contribute to mortality. The best-known and commonly used clinical prognostic scoring systems for MPM are based on work performed by European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and Cancer and Leukemia Group B which incorporate a combination of biologic and clinical factors. This chapter will provide an overview of the presenting symptoms and signs, prognostic factors and outcomes of MPM.


Malignant pleural mesothelioma, prognostic factors, thoracic surgery.


Thoracic and GI Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, United States.