A comprehensive study of mesothelioma in America was completed by researchers from the North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System-Hofstra School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
The study involved more than 14,000 mesothelioma patients whose records had been compiled in the national Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database between the ears 1973 and 2009. In analyzing the information, the study’s researchers found that women have a three times greater survival rate than men do.
In conducting the study, the researchers broke down the patients into groups by age at diagnosis, year in which the diagnosis was made, race, stage of the disease, the treatments that had been provided, patient gender and a variety of other variables.
By breaking the data down into these categories they hoped to determine differences in survival and prognosis.
In examining the 14,228 cases that were found in the database, the researchers found that nearly 25% were women, who were generally diagnosed at the same cancer stage as the men in the database, and who received the same general treatments.
Despite the overall similarities in the disease state between the men and the women, the women’s five-year survival rate was at thirteen percent five years after the time of their diagnosis, while the men’s survival rate was just 4.5%.
“Even when adjusted for age, stage, race and treatment, female malignant pleural mesothelioma patients experienced longer survival than men,” lead author Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD said.
Although they had no ready answer for why the difference between men’s and women’s survival rates exists, the report, titled “Women with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Have a Threefold Better Survival Rate Than Men,” did note that it might be attributed to a number of different things. These included the level of asbestos exposure, the biology of the tumor itself, and the differences in the ways that male hormones and female hormones impact mesothelioma cell growth.
The study was published in the “Annals of Thoracic Surgery.”