MPM: malignant pleural mesothelioma

Christopher Cao, Beth Croce (Illustrator), Rebecca Harris (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a relatively rare but aggressive form of cancer arising from the membrane covering the lungs and the inner side of the ribs. This type of cancer is most frequently a result of inhaling asbestos. Following asbestos exposure, it takes more than 20 years before the symptoms of MPM develop. Given the lag-time, the number of cases of MPM is expected to peak in the coming decade even though the use of asbestos has decreased significantly in recent years. Symptoms of MPM include breathlessness, cough, chest pain, fatigue, fevers and weight loss. Once it develops, MPM is usually associated with a poor rate of survival. However, the length of survival depends on the extent of the tumor at diagnosis (“tumor stage”), the type of mesothelioma and the patient’s response to treatment. Although mesothelioma is not usually curable, the length of survival can range from less than one year to several years. Treatment of this cancer depends on how far the cancer has spread once it has been diagnosed. The aim of treatment may be “curative”, i.e., to remove all of the disease, or “palliative,” i.e., to alleviate symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544
Number of pages1
JournalAnnals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Journal Article

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