Finding Patterns in Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Finding Patterns in Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Researchers from the United States looked at malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM) data over eighteen years for patterns in incidence and survival.

They found that the incidence of MPM cases was steady while survival rates have increased. More cancer-directed surgeries and better identification of cell types in MPM patients may be behind the improved survival rates.

Second Most Common Site

MPM is an aggressive disease caused by asbestos. The peritoneum is the space in your abdomen that contains the intestines, the stomach, and the liver. The abdomen (peritoneum) is the second most common site of mesothelioma after the pleural area (lungs and chest).

Most doctors believe MPM is caused by the ingestion of asbestos fibers. Microscopic asbestos fibers become embedded in the abdomen.

After about 20-50 years, these fibers can cause inflammation and mutations in healthy cells. These mutations may ultimately cause these cells to become cancerous.

MPM accounts for 20-25% of all mesothelioma cases. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have a longer life expectancy than those with other types of mesothelioma. And some studies report patients live up to 5 years after treatment.

Extended Survival Rates

One reason for these extended survival rates may be the development of better treatments for MPM.

Researchers from University of California and Ohio State University looked at MPM data from the SEER-18 registry. This registry is managed by the National Cancer Institute and is the largest data source on cancer in the United States.

The data covers MPM from 2000 to 2018. About 1,600 cases of MPM were identified during this eighteen-year period.

Over half of these cases were in men, and nearly three-quarters of the cases were Caucasian. Nearly 80% of the patients represented by this data were 50 years of age or older.

Cancer-directed surgery was performed in about 30% of MPM patients and increased over time.

The researchers noted an increase in the diagnosis of epithelioid MPM. This refers to the cell type of mesothelioma, which can have a big impact on treatment decisions and overall survival. They also noticed a decrease in cases of MPM with no identified cell type.

This means that doctors are getting better at identifying the cell type of MPM. They can make better treatment plans for MPM patients that lead to improved survival.


Calthorpe L, Romero-Hernandez F, Miller P, et al. Contemporary Trends in Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Incidence and Survival in the United States. Cancers (Basel). 2022;15(1):229. Published 2022 Dec 30. doi:10.3390/cancers15010229. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/15/1/229#

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