Malignant pleural effusion: first steps towards therapy

Eduardo Garcia-Pachon


MPE consists in the accumulation of fluid in the pleural space due to a malignant disease. MPE is a difficult to treat clinical condition which frequently results in severe symptoms like dyspnoea (that can be invalidating) or pain, and poor quality of live. The majority of MPE is caused by metastases from distant cancers, most commonly from the lungs and breast (1), but it is possible to occur in almost all types of cancer, and up to 15% of all patients with any malignant disease have an MPE (2). This condition affects 500–700 individuals per million population annually (3).