Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Epidemiology in the United States From 2000 to 2016

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Introduction Pleural mesothelioma constitutes about 80% of all mesotheliomas. The peak incidence of malignant mesothelioma estimated using the cancer registries was in early 1990 to 2000 in the United States. The disease is primarily associated with asbestos exposure. The latency period between asbestos exposure and the development of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) can range anywhere from 15 to 60 years. Asbestos exposure was peaked during the industrial revolution and World War II due to military and shipyard exposures. It is often difficult for the pathologist to distinguish different histological subtypes; due to the disease's rarity and the inadequate tissue sample obtained. There is no available data on the difference in epidemiology of different subtypes of MPM. Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), cancer incidence data include population-based registries covering approximately 34.6% of the U.S. population. Here in our study, we analyze malignant pleural mesothelioma epidemiology in the United States, emphasizing different histological subtypes. Methods SEER data from 2000 to 2016 was used in our study. The primary site of cancer is selected as pleura, and malignant behavior only is selected as the filter. Data were analyzed using the SEER stat program. Overall epidemiology of MPM and epidemiology of epithelioid, fibrous, and biphasic histological subtypes were analyzed separately. We used annual percentage change (APC) to evaluate the trend in the epidemiology of MPM. Results summary A total of 11,857 cases of MPM were included in the primary cohort from the SEER 18 registry from 2000 to 2016. The total prevalence of MPM was highest in 2009 and was lowest in 2016. The APC in MPM incidence during this period is -2.0. After removing 5,989 cases with non-specified histology during the same period, the APC for each histological type is -0.7 for fibrous type, 1.8 for epithelioid type, and 2.9 for biphasic type. Out of 17 regional registries included in the study, the greatest statistically significant change in APC was seen in the Hawaiian registry -4.1. In contrast, the lowest statistically significant difference was seen in Seattle (Puget Sound) registry -1.7. The APC in the incidence of MPM among males during the study period was -2.4 while that of females was -0.9. The Iowa registry showed a statistically significant increase in APC of the epithelioid malignant mesothelioma with a statistically insignificant reduction in the overall MPM APC. Conclusion The overall incidence of MPM in the United States is declining, while the data showed an increase in the incidence of epithelioid and biphasic histological subtypes. The authors believe that these conflicting results can be attributed to improved histological diagnosis and improved biopsy techniques.