Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a relatively rare, but aggressive tumor that causes high mortality. The major risk factor involved in the etiology is environmental and occupational exposure to asbestos. The optimal modality of therapy is controversial. The present study retrospectively evaluated the data pertinent to 282 patients who were examined and treated in 11 different medical oncology centers in Turkey. There were 161 males (57.1 %) and 121 females (42.9 %), with a mean age of 56.38 ± 12.07 years. Surgery was used in 74 patients, 21 patients (28.4 %) received only chemotherapy and 28 patients (37.8 %) received chemoradiotherapy after surgery. The median survival in patients who were administered adjuvant therapy after surgery was 24 months, while the median survival in patients who had only surgery was 6 months (p = 0.029). 106 patients were administered pemetrexed-platinum combination and 35 patients were administered gemcitabine-platinum combination as front-line chemotherapy. Median survival, 1- and 2-year survival rates in patients who received platinum analogues and pemetrexed or gemcitabine combinations were found statistically similar (p = 0.15). The median survival for all patients with MPM in our study was 18 months. The main factors influencing the overall survival were stage of the disease (p = 0.020), performance status (p < 0.001), asbestos exposure (p = 0.030) and mesothelioma histological subtypes (p < 0.001). Results of our study suggest that multi-modality treatment regimens consisting of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy prolong overall survival. Survival rates in patients who received combining platinum analogues with pemetrexed or gemcitabine as front-line chemotherapy were found similar.