Malignant pleural mesothelioma: predictors and staging

William G. Richards


Malignant pleural mesothelioma remains a rapidly fatal cancer with few effective therapies. Unusual anatomic features complicate determination of stage and prognosis for individual patients. Validation of staging criteria has been difficult given the rarity of the disease and the fact that only a minority of patients undergo surgical resection with pathological examination of their tumors. Thus, additional heuristic factors and algorithms have been taken into account by clinicians to estimate prognosis and inform discussion of appropriate management strategies or clinical research protocols with patients.