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Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive, incurable cancer that is usually caused by asbestos exposure several decades before symptoms arise. Despite widespread prohibition of asbestos production and supply, its incidence continues to increase. It is heterogeneous in its presentation and behaviour, and diagnosis can be notoriously difficult. Identification of actionable gene mutations has proven challenging and current treatment options are largely ineffective, with a median survival of 10–12 months.However, the past few years have witnessed major advances in our understanding of the biology and pathogenesis of mesothelioma. This has also revealed the limitations of existing diagnostic algorithms and identified new treatment targets.Recent clinical trials have re-examined the role of surgery, provided new options for the management of associated pleural effusions and heralded the addition of targeted therapies. The increasing complexity of mesothelioma management, along with a desperate need for further research, means that a multidisciplinary team framework is essential for the delivery of contemporary mesothelioma care.This review provides a synthesised overview of the current state of knowledge and an update on the latest research in the field.

Original publication

DOI

10.1183/16000617.0226-2020

Type

Journal article

Journal

European Respiratory Review

Publisher

European Respiratory Society (ERS)

Publication Date

31/03/2021

Volume

30

Pages

200226 - 200226