Mesothelioma surgery should be straightforward. But like so many aspects of this asbestos-caused disease, unfortunately it isn’t. As if coping with mesothelioma itself wasn’t difficult enough, the field of mesothelioma surgery research is rife with conflicting ideas and research over what is best.
Here in Mesothelioma Circle we’ve reported on mesothelioma surgery studies that explore issues such as the potential benefit of surgery after chemotherapy, factors that help improve surgery results and whether mesothelioma surgery is beneficial at all. At present, we focus on a new study comparing the two major types of mesothelioma surgery.
Mesothelioma doctors at the world’s most respected cancer centers often disagree on which of two types of mesothelioma surgery, lung-sparing or more radical lung-removing surgery, is the best option for patients.
Now a team of researchers in Leeds, England report that a cancer center’s level of experience in dealing with mesothelioma may be a more important factor in achieving good surgical outcomes than which surgery is chosen.
They reached this conclusion by thoroughly analyzing a total of 16 large studies on mesothelioma surgery gathered from five international databases
Their results, reported in the medical journal ISRN Surgery, found that the median survival with the lung-sparing surgical approach which removes the pleural lining and other at-risk tissues, ranged from 8.1 to 32 months. In contrast, study subjects who underwent the more invasive lung-removing procedure were found in the multi-study analysis to have a survival range that was both shorter and longer – 6.9 to 46.9 months.
As they analyzed these conflicting findings, the authors concluded that: both surgeries can be effective depending on factors for each individual case and that clinical experience appears to have the biggest impact on outcomes. “Centers specializing in malignant pleural mesothelioma management have better results,” they state. 
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 817203, 13 pages