There Is No Standard Treatment Regimen For Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, But There Is Now A Move Away From Radical Surgery Towards Alternative Therapies

New European Medical Study Indicates That Some Non-Surgical Options Such As Chemotherapy And Pleurectomy / Decortication Can Extend Meso Patients Survival Times

The November 21, 2012 edition of the medical journal Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery (ICVTS) included an article about the evolving treatment approach for patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), “Multimodal therapy of malignant pleural mesothelioma: is the replacement of radical surgery imminent?”

From the Abstract from this new article concerning options for treatment that mesothelioma (often called “meso”) patients may have at the present time, we get this summary information:

OBJECTIVES  Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains an aggressive thoracic malignancy associated with poor prognosis. There is no standard treatment regimen, and particularly, the impact of radical surgery remains controversial….

CONCLUSIONS  Chemotherapy and pleurectomy/decortication can extend the survival time of patients with MPM remarkably. The adequate treatment options have to be tailored to the specific particular needs of each patient considering histological subtype, tumour stage and patient’s individual functional assessment as well as comorbidity.

For this recent medical study, 61 patients with histologically confirmed malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) treated at a single European medical center over the prior ten years were considered.  In terms of the mesothelioma, or meso, treatments received, this was the breakdown:

  • Surgery as the first treatment modality was performed in 44 patients (72.1%);
  • Pleurectomy/decortication was done in 28 cases (45.9%);
  • Extended pleurectomy/decortication was performed in 13 (21.3%);
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy in 3 (4.9%);
  • Additional intraoperative photodynamic therapy was administered in 20 patients(30.5%);
  • 34 underwent chemotherapy (55.7%); and,
  • 12 had radiotherapy (19.7%).

The study authors pointed out that, unfortunately,  the mean survival time for this group of 61 mesothelioma patients was 18.3 months.

Hopefully, there will soon be further treatment advances and medical studies that will serve to produce a significant increase in survival time for patients with a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis.

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