Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a seemingly uncommon tumor whose incidence has in fact increased steadily and progressively over the last 30 years. Indeed, an actual "epidemic" is expected in Europe over the next 20 years. Despite unquestionable improvement in the diagnostic methods at our disposal and the availability of new treatment strategies, the prognosis of MPM patients remains dramatically poor (12 to 18 months' median survival from diagnosis), although exceptional cases of long-survivors are reported in all literature series. The current review will cover the dramatic improvements in the treatment of this rare disease that have been recently achieved, as well as the promise that new, molecular-targeted therapies, such as bortezomid, mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitors, and Met inhibitors, seem to offer for the next few years. With pemetrexed we now have a drug that is able to impact patient survival. Together with the newer drugs, rapidly emerging from the laboratory to be applied in the clinic, we have the hope of making further advances in the struggle against this disease.
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