Combined modality treatment in mesothelioma: a systemic literature review with treatment recommendations
In spite of recent progress, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains synonymous with poor prognosis. A selected minority (<10%) of patients is eligible for a radical treatment with a combination of systemic chemotherapy (CT) and/or surgery and/or radiotherapy (RT), in an effort to maintain locoregional tumor control after achieving a macroscopically complete resection (MCR). However, as of yet there is no standard of care for this so-called multimodality treatment. As its potential gain is still limited (approximately one year added to overall survival), we must balance its efficacy with its cumulative toxicity. Several combined modality treatment trials are currently ongoing using novel techniques in surgery, RT and/or CT in an attempt to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with older multimodality treatment protocols. Guidelines are following suit and are now including or mentioning this treatment option. In this systematic review, we analyze the available data in order to address the following questions: Is combined modality better than single modality? What is the optimal regimen within each modality? What is the optimal sequence of combined modality?