Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare disease. Approximately 3,000 individuals are diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer each year, and only 15 to 20 percent of those have peritoneal mesothelioma, the subset of the disease that forms in patients’ abdomen. Though every type of mesothelioma is considered terminal, a recent study points to advances in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma, and shows significant improvement in overall survival.
Twenty Years of Innovation Improves Peritoneal Mesothelioma Prognosis
According to a report published in the journal Modern Pathology, the treatment approaches introduced over the last two decades have provided far better results for patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. The disease impacts the mesothelium, an organ that allows the body’s organs to rest comfortably next to one another and which is found in the thoracic cavity, the abdominal cavity, and other areas.
Prior to the year 2000, patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma were given only about 12 months to live, but the introduction of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy combined with cytoreductive surgery has changed that prognosis to between 31 and 92 months, a remarkable difference.
Researchers Point to Multiple Factors In Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival Gains
Though the researchers have expressed confidence that improvements in treatment have driven longer survival times, they also believe that peritoneal mesothelioma’s characteristic factors also play a role. They analyzed results of 225 patients diagnosed over decades, including 39 diagnosed prior to the year 2000, finding that before that point in time patients were more likely to be older and sicker when they were diagnosed.
The group treated after the year 2000 were not only younger and less impacted by the disease at the time of diagnosis, but were also more likely to receive a heated chemotherapy wash following cytoreductive surgery. This innovative treatment has been shown to be extremely effective at killing cancer cells left behind.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, it is important that you receive care from a mesothelioma physician with knowledge of the most current treatment options. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.