Study Reveals Better Outcomes for Mesothelioma Patients at High Volume Facilities

“Practice makes perfect” may seem like a toss away phrase, but when it comes to treating malignant pleural mesothelioma, it turns out that it’s an essential truth, at least according to a new study published in the journal Lung Cancer.

A report looking into the results of over 1300 mesothelioma patients in the National Cancer Database found that those who had surgery for the treatment of mesothelioma had better outcomes when their procedures were performed at hospitals that do a lot of them.

Patients could not only leave the hospital much faster after surgery, but they experienced far fewer complications.

The mesothelioma study was conducted by researchers from the radiation oncology department at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. A little over half (52%) of the patients who were followed had surgery at what is known as a high volume facility, while 48% had surgery at low volume facilities.

Both types of facilities favored the lung sparing surgery known as pleurectomy/decortication for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma, though more of the high volume facilities performed the more radical procedure known as extrapleural pneumonectomy that removes a lung to treat the disease.

In all cases the patients who were treated at low volume facilities tended to stay in the hospital longer and more of them were likely to be readmitted due to complications within 30 days. The patients treated at low volume facilities had a greater likelihood of dying within 3 months of surgery, though the median overall survival rate for patients treated at both types of facilities was between 15 and 18 months.

According to first author Vivek Verma, what this means is that their mesothelioma study showed that the difference in treatment between the two types of facilities had greater implications for post operative management, patient counseling, referring providers and cost effectiveness than for overall survival.

Another study conducted by Dr. Verma that targeted patients with peritoneal mesothelioma found that those who received care at academic centers were more likely to receive cytoreductive surgery, which is considered the most favorable type of treatment for the condition.

If you are a patient who has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you would like assistance in identifying which facility can provide you with the best treatment, the Patient Advocates at can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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