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The Role of Radiation Therapy in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Systematic Review
Radiotherapy and Oncology (2006)
  • Yee C. Ung
  • Edward Yu, University of Western Ontario
  • Conrad Falkson
  • Adam E. Haynes, McMaster University
  • Denise Stys-Norman, McMaster University
  • William K. Evans, McMaster University
  • Cancer Care Ontario Program in Evidence-based Care, McMaster University, Cancer Care Ontario Program in Evidence-based Care, McMaster University
Introduction: Radiation therapy may offer patients presenting with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) symptom palliation and improvements in quality of life. This systematic review will address the role of radiation therapy in the management of MPM. Methods: A thorough systematic search of the literature was conducted for published articles and conference proceedings for applicable abstracts. Relevant trials were selected and assessed. Results: Three small randomized controlled trials compared prophylactic external beam radiation therapy to no radiation therapy for patients with thoracic tracts caused by drainage tubes or diagnostic procedures. None of those trials reported any serious adverse effects. A pooled analysis found no significant reduction in the frequency of procedure tract metastases. Four non-comparative studies have shown that hemithoracic irradiation alone resulted in significant toxicity, including radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis, radiation pneumonitis, and bronchopleural fistula, without any survival benefit. Few of the identified studies reported on symptom control, and no studies included formal measures of quality of life. Conclusion: There is limited evidence for the role of radiotherapy in the management of patients with MPM. Future studies including radiotherapy for the treatment of such patients should include formal measures of quality of life and symptom control.
  • Clinical Trials as Topic,
  • Databases,
  • Bibliographic,
  • Humans,
  • Mesothelioma,
  • Pleural Neoplasms,
  • Prospective Studies,
  • Quality of Life,
  • Radiation Oncology,
  • Radiotherapy,
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic,
  • Time Factors,
  • Treatment Outcome
Publication Date
July, 2006
Publisher Statement
Published in: Radiotherapy and Oncology, Volume 80, Issue 1, July 2006, Pages 13-18. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2006.06.002
Citation Information
Yee C. Ung, Edward Yu, Conrad Falkson, Adam E. Haynes, et al.. "The Role of Radiation Therapy in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: A Systematic Review" Radiotherapy and Oncology Vol. 80 Iss. 1 (2006)
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