Though mesothelioma researchers are far from finding a cure for the rare and fatal asbestos-related disease, they’ve found that combining existing therapies can significantly extend patient survival. A recent study shows that by combining heated chemotherapy with a surgical procedure known as extended pleurectomy with decortication, patients were able to live far longer than what is normally expected from the aggressive form of cancer.
Combination Treatment Extends Mesothelioma Survival to 18.4 Months
Malignant pleural mesothelioma has a grim prognosis, with most patients succumbing to their disease within a year of diagnosis. That is why the results from a study conducted by doctors from the Translational Lung Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany is so notable. The group found that by performing the pleurectomy with decortication surgery — which removes the cancerous pleural membrane but spares the lungs — and then bathing the surgical site with heated chemotherapy drugs, they could substantially prolong patients’ lives.
Heated chemotherapy has long been used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma, but infusing it into the thoracic cavity is a relatively recent procedure. By surgically removing the cancer and then adding chemotherapy drugs locally, the physicians were able to kill malignant cells left behind during the surgery without patients experiencing the toxic effects of systemic chemotherapy.
Treatment Prolongs Life for Mesothelioma Patients
Writing in the journal Respiration, the researchers reported that the combination of HITHOC and the pleurectomy and decortication surgery was followed in 76 patients with pleural cancers, including mesothelioma, and yielded ‘remarkable’ results. Patients experienced median progression-free survival of more than a year and a half, with less than a quarter experiencing complications, and none dying within a month of surgery.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, these results offer great hope. For more information on innovative treatments, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet