Video-assisted thoracoscopic PlasmaJet ablation for malignant pleural mesothelioma
The role of surgery in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains debatable; nonetheless the relative advantages of different surgical approaches are frequently reassessed and reconsidered. While extensive operations and longer recovery periods can be justified for a group of carefully selected patients, many will present at an advanced stage of their disease or with associated co-morbidities which will exclude them from selection criteria for radical treatment. For these patients, minimally invasive video-assisted procedures may be considered, for purposes of cytoreduction and/or symptomatic relief. Even though there is currently not enough clinical evidence to suggest an improvement in overall survival with limited debulking procedures, it has been suggested that they can improve quality of life over drainage and pleurodesis alone. We consider video-assisted PlasmaJet ablation to potentially have a role in mesothelioma surgery, as it may be used for effective cytoreduction while minimising the risk for complications often associated with extensive pleurectomy procedures, and we report on the use of the PlasmaJet Surgical System in our centre for surgical management of a patient with MPM. After demonstrating safety and absence of major adverse events with this approach, we feel justified in offering the procedure to more of our patients as we aim to collect additional data.