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UK Study Shows Mesothelioma Survival Impacted by Hospital Experience

Studies done in the United States have shown that the more expertise a hospital has in treating mesothelioma, the longer the prognosis for patient survival, and now a study conducted in the United Kingdom has yielded similar results. Based on data collected for the UK National Lung Cancer Audit, study author Paul Beckett of the Royal College of Physicians in London has found that patient survival may be largely dependent upon the previous experience that the treating hospital has with the disease. This is significant, since Great Britain ranks as the country with the highest per capita number of mesothelioma cases diagnosed.

The researchers looked at the outcomes of nearly 9,000 mesothelioma patients who were treated at several different hospitals and universities throughout the country, and found that the patients were handled very differently based upon where they were treated, and that the difference played an important role in patient survival. White four out of five of the hospitals made it a regular part of treatment to track a patient’s performance status (their original overall health status), few recorded the stage that the patients’ cancers had advanced to, despite the fact that this is considered to be a critical part of determining what treatment protocol should be used.

The study’s findings are extremely important, as the group that was identified represents the majority of mesothelioma cases diagnosed in the country in the last several years. Median survival was found to be just 9.5 months, with only 41.4 percent of those diagnosed surviving for a year and just 12 percent surviving for three years. There is an improving trend of one additional month of survival seen between the subjects diagnosed at the beginning of the data gathering in 2008 and those at the end in 2012. The study found that the use of chemotherapy is increasing and the use of invasive surgery is decreasing, and that better survival is directly linked to both the patients’ initial overall health and the histological subtype of the disease. Still, the biggest difference in outcomes was between the various hospitals providing treatment, with the one with the lowest median survival rates showing as 209 days and the one with the highest showing at 349 days – a significant difference in outcomes.

Dr. Beckett’s study has been published in the journal Lung Cancer, and he concludes that greater efforts need to be made to provide universal application of the use of cancer staging in order to provide the best possible survival.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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