Is Having Both Pleural Mesothelioma and Peritoneal Mesothelioma Possible?

Malignant mesothelioma is one of the rarest of all cancers, so patients diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease often spend the first days after their diagnosis reading as much as they can about how it forms and what to expect. One of the first things they are likely to learn is that there are different versions of the disease, with pleural mesothelioma being most common and peritoneal mesothelioma a distant second. Though most patients are diagnosed with just one of the two conditions, a recent study focused on outcomes among patients diagnosed with both.

Study looks at 50 patients with mesothelioma of both the pleura and peritoneum

The remarkable study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology was authored by physicians at Columbia University in New York, who documented their observations of the outcomes of fifty patients diagnosed with mesothelioma in both the pleural cavity and the peritoneal cavity. 

As always, the treating physicians’ goals were to improve the overall survival of patients, but presentation of patients with both types of mesothelioma gave them the opportunity to study whether the same multimodality treatment used to treat those with the tumors in just one area of the body would be as effective in those suffering from both.

Appearance of second form of mesothelioma makes little difference in overall survival

Though the identification of a secondary type of mesothelioma would seem to be the worst case scenario for those already diagnosed with the disease, the researchers concluded that the appearance of a second cavity impacted by mesothelioma tumors does not have any impact on patients’ having or responding well to the traditional multimodality treatment administered in those with just one impacted area of the body. No matter whether the secondary disease was diagnosed within a year or longer than that, these patients get the same survival benefit, and are shown to have a median overall survival of 33.9 months after their first intervention. 

As is true in most cases of malignant mesothelioma, the researchers’ review also revealed that patients with the longest overall survival tend to be female and those whose peritoneal mesothelioma was treated with intraperitoneal chemotherapy. 

Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma of either the pleural cavity or the peritoneal cavity are constantly confronted with complications and challenges. For help understanding what is happening and the resources available to help you deal with it, contact the Patient Advocates at 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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