MARS 2 Trial: The Future of Pleurectomy Decortication in Pleural Mesothelioma

MARS 2 Trial: The Future of Pleurectomy Decortication in Pleural Mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, often comes from asbestos exposure. It is hard to treat due to its aggressiveness and the challenges of full surgical removal.

The MARS 2 trial investigated if extended pleurectomy decortication (P/D) could boost survival and life quality in patients with resectable mesothelioma.

A new article looks into the MARS 2 trial’s results, explains clinical trials, and suggests why mesothelioma patients should join them.

Understanding Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies conducted to evaluate new medical treatments, drugs, or procedures in humans. These trials are essential for advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care. Clinical trials are typically divided into several phases:

  • Phase I: Tests the safety and dosage of a new treatment in a small group of people.
  • Phase II: Evaluates the treatment’s efficacy and further assesses its safety in a larger group.
  • Phase III: Confirms the treatment’s effectiveness, monitors side effects, and compares it with standard or equivalent treatments in a large population.
  • Phase IV: Conducted after a treatment has been approved for public use to gather additional information on its long-term effects.

Clinical trials follow a rigorous protocol to ensure the reliability of the results and the safety of the participants. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), like the MARS 2 trial, randomly assign participants to different treatment groups to minimize bias and provide the most robust evidence.

The MARS 2 Trial Findings

The MARS 2 trial compared two treatments for pleural mesothelioma. It pitted surgery plus chemo against chemo alone. Surprisingly, the chemo-alone group lived longer (24.8 months vs. 19.3 months). Also, the surgery group reported a lower quality of life, more side effects, and higher costs.

These findings challenge earlier beliefs about surgery for this cancer. Before, decisions were based on past cases, not controlled trials. The trial highlights the need for expert surgery and careful patient selection to ensure surgery’s benefits.

Why Patients Should Get Involved in Clinical Trials

Participation in clinical trials offers several benefits to patients:

  1. Access to Cutting-Edge Treatments: Clinical trials provide access to new and potentially more effective treatments that are not yet widely available.
  2. Contribution to Medical Research: By participating in clinical trials, patients contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge and help improve treatments for future patients.
  3. Close Monitoring: Clinical trial participants often receive more frequent and thorough medical monitoring, which can lead to better overall care.
  4. Potential for Better Outcomes: Some patients may experience better outcomes through access to innovative therapies and personalized treatment approaches.

Implications for Mesothelioma Patients

The MARS 2 trial highlights how complex treating pleural mesothelioma is and the importance of clinical trials. It shows that, in some cases, chemotherapy alone might improve survival more than surgery. However, it also stresses the need for careful patient selection and expert surgeons.

For pleural mesothelioma patients, joining trials like MARS 2 is key. It offers insights into their disease and treatments. They also get access to advanced therapies and help enhance mesothelioma treatment. Future trials will refine the roles of surgery, chemotherapy, and new treatments, making outcomes better for patients.

Hope for Improved Survival

The MARS 2 trial sheds light on treating pleural mesothelioma. It shows how clinical trials advance medical knowledge and care. Patients with mesothelioma can benefit by joining these trials. They get new treatments, better care, and help develop improved therapies.

As research progresses, clinical trials will continue to be vital. They offer hope for better survival and quality of life for patients.


Grosso, Federica, Luigi Cerbone, and Alessandra Curioni-Fontecedro. “MARS 2 Trial: The Future of Pleurectomy Decortication in Pleural Mesothelioma.” The Lancet. Respiratory Medicine, May 10, 2024, S2213-2600(24)00146-2.

Similar Posts