Radiological evaluation of malignant pleural mesothelioma - defining distant metastatic disease

Dearbhaile Catherine Collins, Raghav Sundar, Anastasia Constantinidou, David Dolling, Timothy Anthony Yap, Sanjay Popat, Mary E O'Brien, Udai Banerji, Johann Sebastian de Bono, Juanita Suzanne Lopez, Nina Tunariu, Anna Minchom
BMC Cancer 2020 December 9, 20 (1): 1210

BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is traditionally characterized by local destructive spread of the pleura and surrounding tissues. Patient outcomes in MPM with distant metastatic dissemination are lacking.

METHODS: In this retrospective study, we reviewed a cohort of 164 MPM patients referred to a Phase I trials unit, aiming to describe identified metastatic sites, and correlate with clinical outcomes.

RESULTS: 67% of patients were diagnosed with distant metastatic disease with a high incidence of bone (19%), visceral (14%), contralateral lung (35%) and peritoneal metastases (22%). Peritoneal metastases were more likely in epithelioid versus biphasic/ sarcomatoid MPM (p = 0.015). Overall survival was 23.8 months with no statistical difference in survival between those with distant metastases and those without.

CONCLUSIONS: This report highlights the frequency of distant metastases and encourages further radiological investigations in the presence of symptoms. In particular, given the relatively high incidence of bone metastases, bone imaging should be considered in advanced MPM clinical workflow and trial protocols. The presence of distant metastases does not appear to have prognostic implications under existing treatment paradigms. This cohort of MPM patients gives an indication of patterns of metastatic spread that are likely to become prevalent as prognosis improves with emerging treatment paradigms.

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