Abstract Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare tumor that has been difficult to study. Because of disappointing treatment results, malignant pleural mesothelioma has remained an area of active research and development. A clinicopathologic review is performed in light of several problematic issues involving diagnosis, staging, natural history, and treatment. Multimodality treatment with surgery followed by adjuvant local and systemic therapy remains the most optimal therapy. Many controversial issues still exist in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. In the ensuing years newer staging systems, better preoperative staging, newer experimental therapies, and the localization of patients at expert centers will undoubtedly have an impact on disease management.