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Mesothelioma mainly affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), and is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Symptoms tend to develop over time, and usually don’t appear until decades after the initial exposure. Mesothelioma is more common in men, and nearly half of those diagnosed are >75 years old.
Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage and overall prognosis is poor, with ~50% living 1 year post-diagnosis, and ~10% living 5 years. Treatment strategies are focused on controlling symptoms and prolonging life with treatments including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. There are many ongoing clinical trials in mesothelioma to investigate novel treatments including immunotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies.View overview page