Though scientists around the world are investigating a wide range of innovative treatments for malignant mesothelioma, there is a gap between what happens in the laboratory and clinical trials and what is happening in community hospitals. A group of researchers set out to assess what happens in “real-world settings” in the United States and came away with the conclusion that more effective treatment approaches are needed.
Mesothelioma Researchers Find Limited Treatments Offered, Poor Outcomes
The researchers, who included David M. Waterhouse of Cincinnati’s Oncology Hematology Care along with scientists from McKesson Life Sciences and Bristol Myers Squibb, analyzed database information gathered on mesothelioma patients who had been treated at community centers associated with the U.S. Oncology Network and Onmark Oncology Practices. For their study, published in Future Medicine, 2,697 patients being treated by over 1,400 physicians in 450 practices were initially reviewed, with 469 meeting all study inclusion criteria.
In reviewing the treatments offered to patients at community treatment centers, the researchers found that most mesothelioma protocols consisted of chemotherapy in the form of pemetrexed and platinum, with cisplatin or carboplatin combined with pemetrexed a close second. Very few patients received second- or third-line therapies. The results of this approach yielded disheartening results, with median overall survival for first-line treatment just 12 months, and those few who did receive second-line treatment having an overall survival of an additional 6.4 months.
Immunotherapy May Offer Improved Mesothelioma Outcomes
In their discussion of their results, the researchers noted that immunotherapy treatments were offered to very few of the mesothelioma patients in their study, a fact which they attribute to the protocol only being recommended as a second- or later-line of treatment in 2017, while the pool of patients analyzed were treated through 2016. They conclude that additional therapies are warranted, and place particular emphasis on continuing research into the benefits of immunotherapy.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you know that the key to your future lies in continuing research and medical breakthroughs. For information on where you can receive state-of-the-art treatment, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.