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Types of Mesothelioma or Pleural Disease

There are three main types of mesothelioma, categorized by where the disease is found in the body.

Types of mesothelioma include:

  • Pleural mesothelioma - affects the lining of the chest (pleura) and is the most common form of the disease
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma - begins in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum)
  • Pericardial mesothelioma - primarily grows in the lining of the heart (pericardium)

Mesothelioma by Cell Type

Mesothelioma can be further characterized by cell type. The disease is generally divided into four cell subtype categories that differ in aggressiveness and how they respond to treatment.

Theses cell types include:

  • Epithelioid - the most common cellular subtype comprising of 50-70% of all cases of mesothelioma. Known as the least aggressive cell type that typically responds best to treatment.
  • Sarcomatoid - a rare cellular subtype and is known as the most aggressive and least responsive to treatment.
  • Biphasic (also called mixed type) - a combination of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells within one tumor. Treatment options and response may vary depending on ratio of each cell type.
  • Dermoplastic - the least common cellular subtype often highly associated with chest wall pain.