Two Studies Confirm Usefulness of CT Technology in Mesothelioma Diagnosis

When evaluating treatment options for malignant pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, physicians rely on several different diagnostic tests to guide their decisions. The more they know about the type and extent of tumor infiltration, the better they can assess how best to help their patient. Two recent studies conducted in the United States and Switzerland assessed the role of computed tomography in aiding this process, and both confirmed that CT is an extremely useful and accurate tool.

CT Scan

Computed Tomography Visualizes Mesothelioma Tumors

Computed tomography, better known as CT, has been used for years in the diagnosis and evaluation of malignant mesothelioma. The technology creates a three-dimensional image that indicates both tumor size and how far it has advanced into the body and around internal organs. This information both guides decisions about surgery and informs assessments of survival.

With mesothelioma physicians relying heavily on the information derived from CT scans, two separate groups of researchers – one at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital and the other at the University Hospital in Zurich – set out to determine the extent to which the information collected by the imaging technology was truly helpful. 

Americans and Swiss Both Conclude That CT is Valuable for Informing Mesothelioma Decisions

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital set out to investigate CT’s use in identifying mesothelioma subtype. Using the images from 51 peritoneal mesothelioma patients, they found a direct correlation between what CT showed about how tumor aggression and mesothelioma subtype. Study author Isha Atre wrote, “Sarcomatoid type of MPM showed significant correlation with more aggressive imaging features of metastases and visceral [deep in the membrane] infiltration as compared to epithelioid type.”

The Swiss researchers set out to compare how tumor volume and thickness measurements yielded in CT studies and compare them to the actual size of the tumors that were surgically removed. Author Olivia Lauk wrote, “Preoperatively assessed CT tumor volume and actual tumor volume showed a significant correlation,” and noted that the volume information – but not the measurement of tumor thickness – was useful information for predicting how long mesothelioma patients would survive. 

The more physicians know about each mesothelioma patient’s tumors, the more effective they can be in their treatment approach. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at can help answer many of your questions. 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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