A New Way to ‘Calculate’ Mesothelioma Survival

Experienced mesothelioma attorneys know that mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can be devastating to victims and their loved ones. Much of the research in this field focuses on different ways to lessen the heavy impact of the disease and the treatment on the individual, rather than on an outright cure which is not yet possible in most cases, particularly if the disease is detected at a later stage.

Mesothelioma is not usually caught until its advanced stages because it spreads without exclusive symptoms; victims are usually first diagnosed with pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. Often advanced stage mesothelioma treatment is incurable, so treatments focus more so on alleviating some of the symptoms.

Patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma may soon be offered a better way for predicting survival and treatment responses. This will be of great help in individualizing treatment planning as well as identifying the patients who would most likely benefit from more aggressive treatment therapies.

Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the thin membrane lining the abdomen walls. It is an aggressive type of mesothelioma, spreading quickly across the membrane and metastasizes to other body parts. Asbestos exposure is a direct cause of this cancer, which is why mesothelioma attorneys fight to ensure that asbestos companies are held liable, and employees potentially exposed to asbestos are adequately protected.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is normally treated by cytoreductive surgery (CRS) carried out in the hope of removing much of the tumor. This is followed by a wash of heated chemotherapy drugs through the open body cavity by a procedure called HIPEC or hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. However, this treatment has a large complication rate as it is highly invasive.

Mesothelioma lawyers are excited by the fact that researchers have now come up with a graphical predictive calculator called ‘nomogram’ that can help clinicians predict whether some patients will accept current treatment successfully, or with lesser complications.

Researchers developed this calculator after examining 104 patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma who were put through HIPEC and CRS treatment. Scientists then applied 25 variables dealing with laboratory, operative, histopathoplogical and demographic factors in order to come up with the predictive calculator.

According to the analysis, 66% of the patients had a cytoreduction completeness score of 1 or 0. The epithelioid version of mesothelioma was found in 87% of patients. While 49 months was the median time of follow-up, 58% of patients were still living at 3 years and 46% were living at 5 years. Three major factors had the greatest impact on the overall survival and figured greatly in the nomogram: the pre-surgical index of the extent of the peritoneal cancer, the CA-125 preoperative serum and the histological subtype of the cancer.

The nomogram employs color coding for clinicians to estimate faster the survival odds of an individual patient even before the surgery is scheduled. This estimation could go a long way in individualizing patient care. CRS or the conventional peritoneal mesothelioma treatment can even be prevented in a patient if the calculator suggests that favorable outcomes are not likely to occur.

Mesothelioma attorneys at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm work to spread awareness of such innovations that would aid in a higher quality of life for people affected by mesothelioma. The next challenge is to make these new technologies quickly channeled into mainstream healthcare.

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