Background: It is important to regularly update survival estimates of patients with malignant mesothelioma as prognosis may vary according to epidemiologic factors and diagnostic and therapeutic management.
Methods: We assessed overall (baseline) survival as well as related prognostic variables in a large cohort of 1353 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma between 2005 and 2008.
Results: About 50% of the patients were 70 years or older at diagnosis and the median latency time since start of asbestos exposure was 49 years. One year after diagnosis, 47% of the patients were alive, 20% after 2 years and 15% after 3 years. Prognostic variables independently associated with worse survival were: older age (HR=1.04 per year 95% CI (1.03-1.06)), sarcomatoid subtype (HR=2.45 95% CI (2.06-2.90)) and non-pleural localisation (HR=1.67 95% CI (1.26-2.22)).
Conclusion: Survival of patients with malignant mesothelioma is still limited and depends highly on patient age, mesothelioma subtype and localisation. In addition, a substantial part of the patients had a long latency time between asbestos exposure and diagnosis.