Among the most challenging decisions that mesothelioma patients make are those regarding their treatment options. Patients are universally informed from the start of the various challenges presented by their disease, as well as the inevitable outcomes, but the fact that the condition is terminal does not mean that no action should be taken. Depending upon both the patient’s preferences and how advanced their disease is, surgery may be offered, and diagnostic imaging plays an essential role in that decision-making process. A recent study published in Shanghai Chest, the official journal of Shanghai Chest Hospital, summarizes all of the innovations in the field of diagnostic imaging and how they assist mesothelioma health care professionals in selecting patients for surgery, as well as in the effectiveness of the treatment that they provide.
The recommendations that diagnostic imaging informs for mesothelioma patients include whether surgery should be performed as part of a multi-modality treatment program or for palliative purposes, and the researchers evaluate each of the various imaging modalities for its effectiveness in assessing the way that mesothelioma has infiltrated the patient’s body. In addition to the meticulous assessment, the authors – Kevin g, Blyth ,Gordon W. Cowell and Rocco Bilancia — speak of the importance of the mesothelioma multi-disciplinary team (MDT), writing, “The value of the MDT in concentrating expertise cannot be over-stated, given the low incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and the challenges involved in MPM diagnostics and staging. Successful assessment prior to radical surgery requires an understanding of the anatomy and the definitions of potential respectability, the strengths and weaknesses of each imaging modality, and the likely impact on the patient of under-or over-staging.”
The report also speaks to an as-yet unpublished study of a new intra-operative technique that may allow surgeons to detect residual mesothelioma cells remaining on the surgical bed after resection of tumor. This innovative approach uses a near-infrared optical contrast, and holds great promise.
The study concludes that though mesothelioma is a particularly challenging disease, improvements in imaging technology have provided surgeons with the ability to make better informed decisions with and for their patients. Mesothelioma patients needs better information regarding all aspects of their condition, and the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma. net can provide that. Call us at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.