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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2016

What are the cell subtypes?

Guide 5. Mesothelioma cell subtypes

Cell subtype

Cell subtype details


The cells are uniform and form

complex, organized patterns.


The cells are spindle-shaped

and form disorganized patterns.

Biphasic (mixed)

Some cells are uniform

and in organized patterns

(epithelioid subtype) and

some cells are spindle-shaped

and in disorganized patterns

(sarcomatoid subtype).

Doctors also recommend treatment based on the

type of mesothelioma cell. A pathologist will classify

the cell type based on the size, shape, and structure

of the cells. A pathologist is a doctor who is an expert

in examining cells and tissue to find disease. This is

known as histologic subtyping. The three subtypes of

mesothelioma cells are described in

Guide 5.




The cancer stage is a rating of how far the

cancer has grown and spread.



The cancer stage is used to plan treatment.



Certain cancer tests, called staging tests, are

used to determine the cancer stage.



Cancer treatment is based on the cancer stage

and cell subtype.


Treatment planning

What are the cell subtypes? | Review