Surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma: an international guidelines review

Sara Ricciardi, Giuseppe Cardillo, Carmelina Cristina Zirafa, Francesco Carleo, Francesco Facciolo, Gabriella Fontanini, Luciano Mutti, Franca Melfi


Currently there is no universally accepted surgical therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The goal of surgery in this dismal disease is a macroscopic complete resection (MCR) and there are two types of intervention with a curative intent. At one side, there is the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) which consists in an en-bloc resection of the lung, pleura, pericardium and diaphragm and at the other side, there is pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) a lung-sparing surgery. Initially, EPP was considered the only surgical option with a curative aim, but during the decades P/D have acquired a role of increasing importance in MPM therapy. Several randomized prospective trials are required to establish the best strategy in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. Although which is the best surgical option remains unclear, the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG), recently have stated that the type of surgery depends on clinical factors and on individual surgical judgment and expertise. Moreover, according to the current evidence, the surgery should be performed in high-volume centres within multimodality protocols. The aim of this study is to examine the currently available international guidelines in the surgical diagnosis and treatment of MPM.