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Study Offers Signs of Hope for Patients With Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is known as a fatal condition, and a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma is generally considered a death sentence. But a new study published in the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology reports that the median overall survival for those living with the disease has expanded significantly, and this is offering reason for hope for those diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease.

Of the four different types of malignant mesothelioma that have been identified, peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common. It is diagnosed in between 10 and 20% of patients who have the disease. Peritoneal mesothelioma impacts the lining of the cavity that holds the abdominal muscles, and its treatment options are different from those offered to patients diagnosed with the most common form of the disease – pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs – as well as from what is offered for those with the extremely rare types that involve the cavity where the heart is located and the cavity where the testicles are located. The research was conducted at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Colubia University Medical Center, and  involved 113 patients who showed a median recurrence free survival of 38.5 months. The study also revealed that even when the cancer came back, patients responded well to additional treatments.

According to statements made by assistant professor of surgery Dr. Michael Kluger,  “There is hope out there for these patients today. People are living a long time now when they are appropriately treated from the get-go. It is night and day from where it once was.” He went on to say, “Even when there is recurrence, there is opportunity for retreatment of this disease. A lot of places will give you one shot, and if it doesn’t work, you’re done because that’s what they do with a lot of other surface malignancies. Mesothelioma, though, is very different. It’s why you need experience in treating it. We know how to treat this disease. We do things a little differently here.”

At New York Presbyterian, patients are treated using a protocol known as HIPEC, in which the mesothelioma tumors are first surgically debulked and removed and then a solution of heated chemotherapy is administered. Additional chemotherapy is then provided, and doctors then check to see whether any additional tumor growth is found. If it is, then a second HIPEC and surgery procedure is offered. Where no tumors are found, the heated chemotherapy is given again through ports. The results have been encouraging, with 30 percent of patients surviving more than 10 years.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need information about any of the innovative protocols being offered, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today 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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