Purpose of review
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare, but aggressive tumor with still poor prognosis. In this article, we focus on recent developments in the management of MPM including diagnosis, staging, biomarkers, and treatment strategies.
Molecular markers such as programmed death-ligand 1 (PDL-1), Breast Cancer gene 1-associated protein gene, and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) have prognostic impact and should be considered for assessment in patient samples. In addition to histological subtype and tumor pattern, tumor volumetry plays an increasing important role in staging, assessment of treatment response, and prediction of survival. Several new blood-based biomarkers have been recently reported including peripheral blood DNA methylation, microRNAs, fibulin, and high-mobility group box 1, but have not been established in clinical routine use yet. Regarding treatment, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, and vaccination are considered as new promising strategies. Moreover, extended pleurectomy/decortication is favored over extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy represents a possible approach in combination with EPP and pleurectomy/decortication. Intracavitary treatment options are promising and deserve further investigations.
Overall, there has not been a real breakthrough in the treatment of MPM. Further research and clinical trials are needed to evaluate outcome and to identify new potential treatment candidates.