Objectives: The role of radical pleurectomy (RP) in the management of IMIG stage III in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains controversial. The aim of the study was to investigate the feasibility and outcome as well as to determine factors predicting poor survival.
Methods: Patients having IMIG stage III MPM were identified within a prospective multimodality treatment study (RP followed by chemoradiation) between 2002 and 2010 at a single institution. Kaplan-Meier analyses, log-rank test and Cox regression analyses were used to estimate survival and to determine predictors of survival.
Results: A total of 78 patients (66.3 ± 2.5 years, 65 males) underwent RP followed by chemoradiation. A total of 42 (54%) had IMIG stage III. Mortality and morbidity were 4.8 and 31%, respectively. Median survival and 5-year survival were 21 months and 28%, respectively, for stage III patients. Progression-free survival was 11 months. The sites of failure were predominantly locoregional (20/42, 47.6%). Pathological detection of tumour spread at the resected thoracoscopy incisions (median survival 12 vs 35 months, P < 0.001), incomplete resections (median survival 13 vs 35 months, P = 0.01) and male gender (median survival 18 vs 68 months, P < 0.039) were associated with inferior survival in the univariate analyses. Histology, lymph node metastases, laterality and age had no significant impact on survival. The tumour spread at the resected previous incisions remained the only significant prognostic factor (hazard ratio (HR) = 4.3; P = 0.027) in the multivariate analysis. Patients having tumour spread had survival comparable to that of patients at stage IV in the complete patient cohort (median survival 12 vs 8 months; P = 0.39).
Conclusions: Lung-sparing RP for IMIG stage III MPM is feasible and offers promising long-term survival. The tumour spread at the resected previous incisions is associated with more incomplete resections and was a negative prognosticator for long-term survival. The tumour spread at the resected previous incisions or chest tube sites should be considered as T4 or stage IV according to the IMIG staging system.
Keywords: IMIG; Malignant pleural mesothelioma; Pleurectomy; Staging; Surgery.