If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the first thing you want to know is what to do about it – what’s the best way to treat it?
As disheartening as it is to learn that there is no “cure” for this rare and fatal form of cancer, you still want to know what your options are, and what is likely to provide you with the longest possible survival time combined with the best quality of life for the time that you have remaining.
Researchers at the world renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center want the answer to that question too, so they undertook a comprehensive study looking at the different treatment protocols available for mesothelioma patients. They also tried to determine what approach provided the longest survival methods.
Looking at the outcomes of over 20,000 mesothelioma patients treated over a 10-year period, they came up with a clear answer to their question that should provide guidance to practitioners around the world: the best approach to treating malignant pleural mesothelioma is a combination of cancer-directed surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Writing on what their research discovered, lead author and thoracic surgeon Dr. David B. Nelson said, Stratified analysis revealed that surgery-based multimodality therapy demonstrated an improved survival compared with surgery alone, with no significant difference between surgery-based and multimodality therapies.”
The group found this to be true despite the outcomes being counterbalanced by the risks involved with surgery: 6 percent of patients who had surgery died within a month of their operation, while 15.5 percent died within 3 months.
The study also found that the patients whose mesothelioma was of the epithelioid type – which is the most common variety of pleural mesothelioma – had the best outcomes with the trimodality therapy. These patients were provided an average additional survival time of 9 months, changing their prognosis from 14.5 months to nearly two years.
Malignant mesothelioma continues to plague the U.S. population, with roughly 2,500 people diagnosed each year.
If you or someone you love is one of those affected by this rare and deadly disease and you need information about the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608. We are here to help.