Objectives: Medical management based on palliative chemotherapy is currently the standard of care in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Median survival of 12–16 months has been reported with modern chemotherapy regimens with or without anti-angiogenic agents. Multimodality therapy incorporating cytoreductive surgery, systemic chemotherapy and radiotherapy has been offered for years to fit patients with early-stage disease, but its role remains debated. Our objective was to compare overall survival in patients offered multimodality therapy in a specialized clinic setting in London, UK to that of patients offered exclusively medical treatment at another academic institution in Quebec, Canada.
Materials and Methods: We retrospectively compared the survival rates of 2 separate cohorts of patients treated consecutively: Cohort 1 (n = 106) received multimodality therapy including systemic chemotherapy, extended pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) and prophylactic radiotherapy in London (United Kingdom) between 2009 and 2016, while Cohort 2 (n = 98) received medical treatment at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute (Canada) during the same period.
Results: In Cohort 1, all patients but two completed trimodality therapy. In cohort 2, 51 % received palliative care only and 40 % received systemic chemotherapy. Median survival was 32 months vs 10 months in Cohort 1 and Cohort 2, respectively (hazard ratio with age, gender, pathology and TNM staging as covariates: 3.81; 95 % CI: 2.67–5.45; p < 0.0001). Similar results were obtained in sensitivity analyses, after excluding those who received best supportive care only and in a propensity score-matched analysis.
Conclusion: Aggressive therapy of MPM using cancer-directed surgery, systemic chemotherapy and prophylactic radiotherapy may provide a significant survival benefit in selected patients.
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