The treatment options offered to mesothelioma patients largely depend upon the stage of their disease and their specific condition, but most are offered a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Though it is common for patients to be treated using radiation therapy after surgery to eradicate any cancer cells that might remain, a recent study shows that the protocol may not provide a survival benefit.
Duke Study Focuses on Adjuvant Radiation Therapy’s Use in Mesothelioma
The mesothelioma study was conducted by researchers from Duke and Stanford Universities and published in the Annals of Surgery. Lead author Dr. Vignesh Raman, a thoracic surgeon from Duke University, led a team to analyze mesothelioma patient outcomes collected over a 20-year period from 1996 through 2016.
The scientists analyzed patient outcomes from 212 pleural mesothelioma victims treated at Duke between 1996 and 2016 and an additional 1,615 patients whose medical records were included in the National Cancer Database. The patients whose records were examined were diagnosed with Stage, I, II, or III disease. The researchers compared the survival rates for those who had radiation after surgery with those whose treatment did not include adjuvant radiotherapy.
Radiation Can Ease Mesothelioma Symptoms
While the group noted that adjuvant radiation can provide relief of mesothelioma’s symptoms, they also concluded that its use did not extend survival, and in some cases led to adverse side effects. Dr. Raman wrote, “At a landmark time of 4.4 and 4.7 months from surgery, Duke and NCDB patients who received adjuvant radiation did not experience improved survival compared to those who did not receive radiation in multivariable analysis.”
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you seek care from physicians experienced in treating this challenging disease. For access to state-of-the-art treatment, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at t 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet