BACKGROUND: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare disease with poor prognosis in spite of significant improvement in survival, due to new chemotherapy regimens. We describe here patients' profiles and management in daily practice in France.
METHODS: Observational retrospective study. Data were collected from medical files. All patients with histologically proven MPM diagnosed from January 2005 to December 2008 were included in the participating sites.
RESULTS: Four hundred and six patients were included in 37 sites: mean age 68.9 ± 9.8 years, male predominance (sex ratio 3.27), latency of the disease 45.7 years, epithelioïd type 83 %. Diagnosis was made using thoracoscopy in 80.8 % of patients. Radical surgery was performed in 6.2 % of cases. Chemotherapy was administered to 74.6 % of patients. First line regimens consisted mainly of platinum + pemetrexed (91 %) or pemetrexed alone (7 %). Objective response rate was 17.2 % and another 41.6 % of patients experienced disease stabilization. Half of these patients underwent second line chemotherapy (platinium + pemetrexed 31.6 %, pemetrexed alone 24.6 %), resulting in a 6 % response rate. Third-line chemotherapy (56 patients) yielded disease control in 5.4 % of cases.
CONCLUSIONS: The management of MPM in France is usually in accordance with guidelines. Response rates are somewhat lower than those described in clinical trials.