Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an almost always fatal tumour, for which palliative platinum-based chemotherapy is currently the standard treatment. Multimodal therapeutic strategies incorporating surgery, radiation therapy or photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy have been recommended for selected patients but there is no consensus about their effectiveness.
Objectives: To assess the benefits and harms of radical multimodal treatment options (including radical surgery ± radical radiotherapy ± photodynamic therapy ± systemic therapy) compared to each other or to palliative treatments, for people with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Authors’ conclusions: The overall strength of the evidence gathered in this review is low and there is a lack of available evidence to support the use of radical multimodality therapy in routine clinical practice (particularly as one trial suggests greater harm). Given the added cost of multimodality treatment and the possible increase in risk of adverse effects, the lack of evidence of their effectiveness probably means that these interventions should currently be limited to clinical trials alone.
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