Researchers Search for Answer to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival

A malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is generally accompanied by a prediction of just 18 months to two years to live, but there are occasional reports of patients who survive for longer periods. A recent case study published by physicians from the Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France details the 14-year survival of a man with epithelioid mesothelioma and provides important indications for how others may achieve a similar outcome.

Meticulous Follow-Up Is Key to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival

According to the report, which was published in the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, the mesothelioma patient enjoyed fourteen years of progression-free health despite being diagnosed with the rare, asbestos-related disease.  He had the advantage of being diagnosed with the epithelial subtype, which is known to be most responsive to available treatments, and chose the most aggressive treatments available. Perhaps most importantly of all, his physicians followed up with him regularly over the next several years.

The multi-modality mesothelioma treatment that was used on the patient included removal of his tumors as well as one of his lungs in the aggressive surgical procedure known as extrapleural pneumonectomy.  He also submitted to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments to eradicate any malignant cells that might have been left behind after the surgery and was then carefully followed over the next fourteen years to check for the return of his cancer. 

Researchers Point to Benefits of Multiple Factors in Mesothelioma Treatment

Researchers say that this mesothelioma patient’s long-term survival was exceedingly rare, and that he had the benefit of numerous factors in his favor, but that his case demonstrates that longer survival is possible.  According to lead author Julien Guinde, “This case illustrates that despite being an aggressive disease, multimodal management including radical surgery may allow a prolonged response in MPM but requires a whole-life surveillance.” 

Generally speaking, the mesothelioma patients who have the longest survival times are under the age of 60 and otherwise in good health at the time that they are diagnosed. They are also eligible for aggressive surgery and have been diagnosed with the epithelioid subtype at an early stage of its progression, before it has spread to the lymph nodes. Treatment using multiple modalities has proven most effective. 

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need information on treatment options, the Patient Advocates at can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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