The first question asked by almost every mesothelioma patient is “How long do I have to live?” Though specialists turn to blood-based biomarkers and state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging to predict survival and stage disease progression, a recently published study says that routine tests administered in doctors’ offices can provide answers that are just as reliable as more sophisticated option.
United Kingdom Researchers Compare Results of Mesothelioma Tests
Researchers from the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth in the United Kingdom examined medical records associated with 100 patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma between 2009 and 2013. Each had submitted to routine examination by their physicians, including basic clinical, lab, and histological assessments that reported basic data. This data included whether they were (or had ever been) smokers; whether they were experiencing chest pain; whether they had lost weight; their adjusted calcium levels; urea levels; and platelet count.
The scientists set out to determine how accurately these basic tests could predict six-month mesothelioma survival when compared to more complex and sophisticated testing. They found that the common tests could be just as predictive of outcomes as the more complicated tests, and were more accessible for physicians looking to begin appropriate treatment.
Study Tested New Model for Predicting Mesothelioma Survival
The research team took each of these standard tests and used them to build a model for predicting mesothelioma survival. Their application of their model’s numbers to the collected results from the 100 patients in the study yielded a score of .76, which falls into a predictive range considered good.
Lead author Samal Gunatilake wrote, “Risk of death at six months in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma can be predicted using variables readily available in clinical practice” and that the team’s prediction model “may be used to influence treatment decisions.”
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, knowing what to expect is important. For help with this and accessing other resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.