British Study Suggests That Increase in Radiotherapy Dose May Prolong Survival

Malignant mesothelioma is a cruel disease that claims patients’ lives and causes tremendous pain in the process. British researchers report that while studying radiotherapy’s use in decreasing pain, they unexpectedly found that higher doses of the treatment extended patient survival time.

radiation therapy

Study Aimed at Reducing Mesothelioma Pain has Unexpected Results

The SYSTEMS-2 clinical trial’s aim was to see whether a higher-than-standard dose of radiotherapy would more effectively manage the significant pain that mesothelioma patients so frequently suffer. But while presenting their results at the recently held British Thoracic Oncology Group’s annual conference, researchers reported that the boosted dosage yielded an unexpected result: patient survival was extended.

While the higher dose of radiation therapy’s impact on mesothelioma pain was not statistically significant, the researchers were surprised to find that patients who’d received the higher dose experienced a significant increase in life expectancy, with many of them still alive. These patients are continuing to be followed.

Mesothelioma Researchers Urge Caution in Interpreting Extended Patient Survival

Although the mesothelioma researchers were pleased by the unexpected extension in patient survival, they also warn that it is too early to place too much hope in the results. Said Professor Anthony Chalmers, Chair of Clinical Oncology at the University of Glasgow and Chief Investigator for the study, “We are very excited to see some early evidence that patients receiving the higher radiotherapy dose might benefit in terms of an increase in their life expectancy. We are still in the process of following up these patients and analyzing the results, however, so this observation should be treated with caution at this stage.”

Echoing his words, Professor Corinne Faivre-Finn, Professor of Thoracic Radiation Oncology at the University of Manchester said, “The survival results of SYSTEMS-2 are interesting but cannot be considered conclusive as data is not yet mature. A phase 3 study with overall survival as an endpoint is ideally required to confirm the impact of thoracic radiotherapy in patients with pleural mesothelioma.”

As researchers continue searching for an effective treatment for malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at are here to support your needs. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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