Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

The diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) can be devastating. At Stanford, our patients are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists that includes surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and radiologists. This close collaboration ensures a cohesive and personalized care experience for our patients. Our team of experts coordinates a comprehensive treatment plan using state-of-the-art technology for patients with MPM. 

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that originates in the pleura within the chest cavity. The pleura is a thin cellular lining than envelops both the lung (termed the "visceral" pleura) and chest wall (the "parietal" pleura), as well as the diaphragm, and the heart and major blood vessels in the central portion of the chest. Transformation of the pleura into cancer, therefore, will form a layer of tumor that covers, and may in fact grow directly into any of these vital structures.

There are three major subtypes of MPM, which are defined by their histology (appearance under the microscope). Epithelial MPM is the most common form and makes up about 60% of all cases. Sarcomatoid MPM comprises about 10% of all cases, and these tumors display a somewhat more aggressive behavior. The remainder of cases are comprised of the Mixed, or Biphasic variant of MPM that contains elements of both Epithelial and Sarcomatoid MPM.

Diagram of normal lung and mesothelioma

If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons for any of these problems, please call (650) 498-6000 and ask for the Thoracic Surgery new patient coordinator, or call (650) 721-2086.

The Division of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California. For more information about our services, please contact Donna Yoshida at (650) 721-2086 or Cliff David at (650) 721-6400. For new patient Thoracic Surgery Clinic Scheduling, please call (650) 498-6000.