Historically, patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma had few options and faced a grim and abbreviated prognosis. But innovations in treatment have substantially changed their outlook, extending potential survival times from under one year to over three years in some cases. A recent study conducted by Japanese researchers has revealed that significant benefits and increased survival can be realized from less invasive surgical approaches.
Japanese Researchers Evaluate Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes
In the last few years, the introduction of less invasive techniques has created real benefits for patients undergoing all types of surgeries, and this study conducted at the Hyogo College of Medicine shows that the same is true for those with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
The researchers compared less invasive surgery with conventional surgery techniques among malignant pleural mesothelioma patients treated between July 2004 and April 2016. Almost all patients had the epithelioid subtype of the disease and were treated with chemotherapy and surgery, with some also receiving radiation treatment. Following surgery, macroscopic complete resection was achieved in 111 of the 117 patients.
Significant Differences in Mesothelioma Outcomes Based on Surgical Approach
According to the results published in the journal Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the mesothelioma patients were divided into those who underwent conventional extrapleural pneumonectomy, those who had less invasive extrapleural pneumonectomy, and those who had pleurectomy/decortication. The outcomes for each surgery revealed a significant difference in median survival, with those undergoing conventional extrapleural pneumonectomy averaging 18.5 months, those undergoing the less invasive extrapleural pneumonectomy averaging 41.9 months, and those treated with pleurectomy/decortication averaging 43.4 months.
Overall median survival time for all patients was 34.9 months and median progression-free survival was 17.4 months. The researchers concluded that the less invasive the surgery, the lower the surgical risks and the better the survival times. Of the 117 participants who had surgery, two died within 30 days and 4 within 90 days.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you understand all of the options available to you. For assistance, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.