Malignant mesothelioma is a diffuse tumor arising in the pleura, peritoneum, or other serosal surface and is closely associated with asbestos exposure. An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Although there are individual case reports and small series detailing the clinical aspects of mesothelioma, few studies examine a large series of patients with malignant mesothelioma from the clinical perspective. This study reports on the findings of 238 cases of malignant mesothelioma from a private consultative medical practice. Most cases had a history of occupational asbestos exposure. The mean latency was 48.5 yr, with women having a longer latency than men. The mean age at diagnosis was 70. Survival overall was poor (mean 8.8 months), but treatment was beneficial (mean 11.3 versus 6.4 months). Epithelioid histology conferred a survival advantage over sarcomatoid and responded better to treatment. Our data support an inverse relationship between asbestos dose and latency.
2011 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health