Advances in Malignant Mesothelioma

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935 Citations (Scopus)


Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive tumor of serosal surfaces, such as the pleura and the peritoneum.1 This tumor was once rare, but its incidence is increasing worldwide, probably as a result of widespread exposure to asbestos, a factor with which it is associated (Table 1Table 1Worldwide Trends in the Epidemiologic Features of Malignant Mesothelioma.).8 There is substantial interest in this disease on the part of the medical community and the general public, because millions of people have been exposed to asbestos fibers, and many articles about the dangers of asbestos have appeared in the press.In addition to its substantial personal and health care costs, malignant mesothelioma is associated with compensation costs that are a considerable problem for industry and government. The predicted total economic burden of malignant mesothelioma related to compensation for asbestos exposure in the next 40 years is up to $200 billion for the United States9 and $80 billion for Europe.6In this article we review the key advances in the understanding, diagnosis, and management of malignant mesothelioma that have occurred in the past 5 to 10 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1591-1603
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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