Background: Regardless of the modality of therapy used, malignant pleural mesothelioma is a highly treatment-resistant and invariably fatal disease. Identification of prognostic variables are important for future investigational therapeutic studies.
Methods: The prognostic significance of various clinical variables, including hyaluronan levels in pleural fluid, was evaluated in a retrospective analysis in 100 patients with histologically confirmed malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Results: The overall median survival was 11.5 months. Univariate analyses identified histologic subtype, i.e., epithelial or mixed, and elevated content of hyaluronan in the pleural effusion as significant prognostic variables. A multivariate analysis confirmed the independent predictive power of histologic subtype, and an elevated concentration of hyaluronan in the pleural fluid also indicated longer survival in older patients and in patients receiving therapy other than supportive.
Conclusions: The prognostic value of histologic subtype and the concentration of hyaluronan in pleural effusions should be considered when designing and evaluating treatment trials for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.