When it comes to treating malignant mesothelioma, it is important that patients receive the best care possible. Seeking medical treatment from physicians who are experienced in treating the rare and aggressive form of cancer makes an enormous difference, both in terms of availability of state-of-the-art treatment and in ensuring that testing is done with meticulous precision. A recent report out of Italy reveals that in that country, misclassification of mesothelioma subtype happens far too frequently, and could have a critical impact on patient outcomes.
Study Finds Pleural Biopsy Misclassification
A recent study conducted by researchers in Brescia, Italy looked at the outcomes of 134 mesothelioma patients who had either been shipyard workers or their spouses. Each of the patients cellular subtypes had been diagnosed through pleural biopsy, but a retrospective analysis of those results found that the tissue samples that were taken were frequently misclassified.
Malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos-related disease that can impact different parts of the body. The most common form of the disease occurs in the pleural cavity and the second most common is the peritoneal cavity. In all cases, the cancerous cells can be one of three different cell types: epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic. Each respond differently to different treatments.
Misclassification of Mesothelioma Subtype Leads to Use of Less Effective Treatment
Though malignant mesothelioma is always considered a fatal disease, physicians have been able to extend patient survival times through careful selection of treatment protocols. They have found that each of the three cellular mesothelioma subtypes has its own best treatment. As a result, proper diagnosis of cell type can make a significant difference.
In their report, published in the Italian journal Tumori, the researchers warn of “a substantial degree of misclassification between epithelioid and biphasic malignant pleural mesothelioma for pleural biopsies performed during video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, and urge that “caution should be taken” when analyzing pleural biopsy results.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help you access the best possible care. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet