Italian scientists have developed a statistical model that suggests which patients with pleural mesothelioma are most likely to benefit from surgery. The results of the scientists’ study have been published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Pleural mesothelioma patients who survive the longest after surgery share the following common factors:
- Younger age;
- epithelioid cell type, as opposed to sarcomatoid or biphasic cell types;
- few affected lymph nodes; and
- no known history of asbestos exposure.
Italian Researchers Suggest that Doctors May Use Study Results to Determine Likely Outcome of Aggressive Mesothelioma Surgeries
According to the physician who led the study, Giovanni Leuzzi, MD with Rome’s Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, more studies are required to verify the results and explore its usefulness in treating mesothelioma patients.
One striking feature of the study is the suggestion that mesothelioma patients without known asbestos exposure fare better with surgery to treat the disease. This is because asbestos exposure is the only confirmed cause of pleural mesothelioma. Millions of people worldwide have been exposed to asbestos, which was used heavily for decades in construction and industrial settings. The mineral was also used in a variety of household products, including ironing board covers, hair dryers and body talc.
Each year, roughly 3000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Scientists are still working on a cure for the disease, and just ten percent of patients survive longer than five years after the date of their diagnosis.
The Italian study involved 468 pleural mesothelioma patients. All had been treated with extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), a radical surgical procedure in which the lung, the diaphragm and the linings of the chest and heart are removed. Patients treated with EPP alone survive on average for 10 months. But in the Italian study, nearly 23 percent of patients survived for a minimum of three years. The characteristics shared by this subset of patients included their younger age, the epithelioid cell type, the involvement of few lymph nodes and no known history ofasbestos exposure.
Dr. Leuzzi suggested that physicians could use the study results to make decisions about whether to subject patients to the aggressive EPP surgery.
Contact Waters Kraus & Paul to Learn More about Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
If you (or a loved one) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us by email or call us at 800.226.9880 to speak with our asbestos lawyers, like Charles Siegel and Jonathan George in our Texas office, to learn more about how we can assist you and your family with a mesothelioma lawsuit.