Mesothelioma surgery presents mesothelioma patients with a very serious option to consider for mesothelioma treatment. When your body is being taken over and made ill by cancer cells, it can provide you with a measure of emotional comfort to know that having the cancer surgically removed can be done. But mesothelioma surgery is not something to be entered into lightly. In most cases, it involves removing either a lung or the lining around a lung. Give it serious consideration and discuss it with your doctor. Mesothelioma surgery – like any major surgery – can take a lot out of you in addition to battling the disease itself.
It’s no wonder then that many doctors consider mesothelioma surgery controversial and may be reluctant to recommend it for a mesothelioma patient.
Mesothelioma Surgical Treatment Options Enhanced By New Statistical Model
Now a new statistical model may help calculate whether or not a mesothelioma patient would most likely or not obtain benefits from mesothelioma surgery depending on whether or not it could increase their survival time, according to a new scientific study published in the September 2015 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
“The therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma is still somewhat controversial, and the optimal surgical approach is still a matter of debate,” states Giovanni Leuzzi, MD, a medical researcher with the Regina Elena National Cancer Institute in Rome, Italy, who led the study. “Our study found factors that can indicate which patients will benefit the most from surgery so that patients and their physicians can better decide the optimal course of therapy.”
It is not surprising that a new mesothelioma surgery study would emerge from Italy. Italy is a very active area for mesothelioma research. Asbestos exposure remains the sole cause of developing malignant pleural mesothelioma and Italy for decades was a major source of asbestos mining and production. Often the profitable asbestos industries in Italy were controlled by outside industrial interests from other nations and there is active interest in Italy on the medical and legal ramifications of asbestos exposure and subsequent mesothelioma in the population.
Mesothelioma Surgery Scientific Study Results
Dr. Leuzzi and colleagues studied 468 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma who had undergone extrapleural pneumonectomy. Often abbreviated as EPP, this is a surgical treatment that involves removal of a lung, the affected chest lining, the diaphragm, and the heart covering membrane. The other somewhat less invasive type of mesothelioma surgery is pleurectomy/decortication (P/D. This type of surgery removes part of the covering of the lungs and lining of the chest wall.
Previous research reported that patients treated by EPP gain an additional 10 months of survival. While 10 months may not seem like a lot of time, for a mesothelioma patient those 10 months could be enough time to see a family member born, marry or graduate or achieve some other significant milestone.
In this study, 107 EPP patients (22.9%) achieved a full three years of survival after surgery. Characteristics that were most frequently allied with longer survival included younger age and a low number of affected lymph nodes.
“Based on these findings, we have built a scoring system by combining the above-mentioned factors. This easy-to-use model could help physicians in stratifying the treatment outcome and, eventually, tailoring postoperative treatment by identifying those patients who require close surveillance or more aggressive cancer therapy,” said Dr. Leuzzi.
Dr. Leuzzi added that further studies will be needed to validate the statistical scoring model in order to assess its utility in clinical practice.
It is also hoped that additional studies will be done to generate a similar statistical scoring model for the P/D type of mesothelioma surgery. Because this type of surgery spares the lung, it is a preferred type of surgery for mesothelioma patients and doctors suggest it when possible. But even having this information available for EPP mesothelioma surgery will be very helpful for those who are considering it.