Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Sheree E. Chen; Makala B. Pace


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2012;69(5):377-385. 

In This Article


According to Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Result (SEER) data from the National Cancer Institute, the incidence of malignant mesothelioma in 2008 was approximately 1 per 100,000 persons in the United States, or an estimated 2,000–3,000 new cases annually.[2]

The peak incidence of mesothelioma is estimated to have already occurred in the United States.[3] There was a gradual fall in the incidence of mesothelioma through 2008. Although the U.S. incidence appears to have peaked, it is expected that the incidence of mesothelioma will continue to rise internationally. For example, in the United Kingdom the peak incidence is predicted to occur in 2015, as the implementation of restrictions on asbestos use occurred in that country later than in the United States.[4] In developing countries where limitations have not been placed on the use of asbestos, the incidence of mesothelioma may continue to increase. The median age at the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is 72–74 years.[5,6] In the majority of patients, the disease develops after a latency period of up to 40 years from the initial exposure to carcinogens.[7,8] Approximately 80% of patients who develop mesothelioma are men.[7]