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Second Study Points to Essential Role of Surgery for Patients with All Mesothelioma Subtypes

The results of the most recent mesothelioma study were published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The researchers were specifically looking for data regarding outcomes for patients who had been diagnose with the rarest forms of the already rare form of cancer: sarcomatoid mesothelioma and biphasic mesothelioma. Where it has long been understood that those diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma benefit from aggressive surgery, there have been recommendations against operating for patients with the other two types because their outcomes were not thought to be as positive. But in looking at data contained within the National Cancer Database, they found that as long as patients with the two rarer types of mesothelioma with either in stage I or stage II of their cancer, having surgery resulted in additional months of survival time.

Mesothelioma has been determined to have three different subtypes. Though the differences are only identifiable at the microscopic level, they have been determined to have a big impact on how patients respond to the available treatment protocols. The two rarer forms — sarcomatoid and biphasic — do not respond to chemotherapy or radiation therapy as well as epithelioid mesothelioma cell types do, and as a result patients diagnosed with the two rarer types tend to have shorter survival times. But the study, which looked at the results of 878 mesothelioma patients who had those rarer subtypes of the disease, found that the impact of surgery was positive for all subtypes, and that those who chose not to have surgery lived on average three less months than those who did have surgery. In all cases, the researchers found that it is important that the patients overall health be good, as aggressive surgery does not provide positive outcomes for patients who are medically fragile.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you need access to top-of-the-line medical care that will guide you towards the best possible treatment. For assistance in accessing the resources you need, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an experienced blog writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of expertise include health, medical research, and law.

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