hough it’s not exactly breaking news, a recently concluded Belgian study about mesothelioma survival goes a long way towards providing confidence for patients as they begin their treatment journey. The study, which was published this month in the scientific journal Lung Cancer by lead researcher Michael Rosskamp, confirms that the treatment protocol that provides the greatest positive impact on survival is chemotherapy. It also highlights other factors that can contribute to patients optimizing the amount of time that they have left to them.
The mesothelioma study was conducted using information collected from the Belgian Cancer Registry specific to over 1,400 patients who had been diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer during the eight year period between 2004 and 2012. The study’s goal was to find out exactly which of the patients who were treated for the disease lived the longest, and why that was the case. In order to accomplish that goal, they examined the treatment protocols administered to each patient and how long they lived after receiving that treatment.
Of the 1,400 mesothelioma patients whose records were reviewed, the group that had the greatest number of longest surviving patients were those who were treated using chemotherapy, and particularly pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin, the two treatments that have received FDA approval for the treatment of the rare disease. Though surgery patients also received great benefit, it is important to remember that the patients who are most likely to undergo surgery are those who are younger and in better health, as they are deemed most likely to be able to withstand the physical trauma involved in the aggressive procedures used when removing mesothelioma tumors. Further, the patients who undergo surgery are most likely to have been diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma, which is considered to be the most responsive to treatment. The group of patients that ranked high on the list of those with the longest survival times were the patients who received their mesothelioma treatment at noted high volume cancer centers at which physicians have both extensive experience and access to state-of-the-art tools and techniques.
This is exactly the type of information that is of the most value to patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you need more answers, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.