Background There is a dearth of literature on patient quality of life (QoL) after treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).
Objectives To review the literature on QoL after surgery for MPM and assess differences in quality of life between patients who have extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and those who have pleurectomy and decortication (P-D).
Methods We retrieved and reviewed original research studies on quality of life after mesothelioma surgery. They had been published from January 1990 through June 2016, and included 15 articles and 12 datasets for a total of 523 patients.
Results QoL data was available for 102 EPP patients and 296 P-D patients. Two studies directly compared QoL outcomes between the 2 techniques. Symptoms, lung function parameters, and physical and social functioning were still compromised 6 months after surgery. However, P-D patients fared better than did EPP patients across QoL measures.
Limitations The amount of available literature is small, and the studies are heterogeneous.
Conclusions QoL is better for a longer period of time in patients who undergo P-D, compared with those who have EPP. Given the need for multimodality therapy for MPM and the aggressive nature of the disease, QoL outcomes should be strongly considered when choosing type of surgery for mesothelioma.
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