Survival from malignant mesothelioma: where are we now?

J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2015;45(2):123-6. doi: 10.4997/JRCPE.2015.207.

Abstract

Background: The prognosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma has traditionally been poor. Whether this remains the case compared to historical data and within a specific geographical location is uncertain. Knowledge of predictive factors for survival with malignant pleural mesothelioma is also inadequate.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective local database analysis to determine overall prognosis of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma and evaluate the influence of demographic characteristics, histological subtype and laboratory parameters. Patients with histological diagnoses of malignant pleural mesothelioma held on the NHS Grampian pathology database between 2002 and 2012 were analysed. Data on baseline demographics, mode of diagnosis, histological sub-type, and survival and serum laboratory parameters, were analysed; time to death was examined using Cox regression analyses.

Results: A total of 114 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma were included in the analysis. The median survival was 345 days (IQR 99-600). Sarcomatoid malignant pleural mesothelioma carried a significantly worse prognosis with median survival of 125 days (IQR 44-289) vs 334 days (IQR 126-715) for biphasic, 412 days (IQR 201-656) for epithelioid and 345 days (IQR 99-600) for those with no definitive typing. Individuals who did not receive chemotherapy experienced a significantly worse prognosis (hazard ratio 2.7; 95%CI 1.5-4.7; p = 0.001), while a low albumin and raised urea at time of diagnosis were also associated with a significantly poorer prognosis.

Conclusion: The survival of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma remains poor and typically around 1 year. The presence of raised urea and low albumin is associated with a poorer prognosis, while patients with a good performance status and few co-morbidities should be encouraged to receive chemotherapy.

Keywords: mesothelioma; prognosis; prognostic factors.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Databases as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / mortality*
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis