New Study: Mesothelioma Patients Live Longer if Given Multimodal Treatment

It’s not the first time that a study on multimodal treatments and life expectancy for mesothelioma patients has been conducted, but a new study confirms prior results that patients given multimodal treatments live longer.

According to physicians in Italy and England, the results of new study reveals that combining treatments, including chemotherapy, surgery, pleural lavage, and radiation therapy, increases the lifespan of people living with mesothelioma. The study, which included 102 mesothelioma patients, was conducted from 2004 to 2013.

The report indicates that while all of the patients had mesothelioma, 75% had a form of of the disease known as epithelial mesothelioma. Malignant epithelial mesothelioma affects close to 50-70% of all diagnosed mesothelioma patients. Epithelial mesothelioma occurs when tumors are primarily comprised of epithelial cells, and research also suggests that patients with this form of mesothelioma may respond better to treatment when compared to mesothelioma patients with types of cells.

All patients went through a pleurectomy/decortication (PD) surgery, in which the pleural lining and other affected tissue was removed from the body. Afterwards, the patients underwent a rinsing technique, coupled with heated povidone-iodine.

Each patient received a combination of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment. However, while some of the patients received the combination treatment prior to the PD surgery, others received it afterwards. All patients, however, survived the surgery and treatment when checked on after 30 days

Mesothelioma Patients Still Going Strong After 5 Years

The most important finding of the study is that 1/4 of all of the patients who underwent the multimodal treatment were still alive after five years. In most instances, the destructive and intrusiveness of mesothelioma results in people dying within a year of being diagnosed. However, with multimodal treatment, patients’ average life expectancy was increased to over 2 years. In return, the findings that some were living past five years is extremely promising.

According to the physicians who treated the patients and conducted the study, this form of treatment is “a safe and well-tolerated multimodality therapy.”

Who Can Benefit the Most From Multimodal Therapy

It’s important to note that physicians generally look at a number of things before deciding the best course of treatment for mesothelioma patients. For multimodal therapy, doctors look at:

  • The overall health of the patient (as surgery is intrusive, the potential risks are evaluated)
  • The patient’s age
  • The location and stage of the cancer

Not all mesothelioma patients are healthy enough to undergo multimodal therapy, especially of the tumors are in Stage IV of the disease. In cases such as these, single forms of treatment may be used, or physicians may offer alternative treatments via clinical trials.

Future Research on Multimodal Therapy

Physicians continue to research and conduct studies on the benefits of multimodal therapy for mesothelioma patients. As technology continues to improve, patients may see new versions of multimodal treatment in the future, including using nanoparticles to administer chemotherapy medication.

Clinical trials are also ongoing, that test the effectiveness of new forms of multimodal treatment. Speak with your physician regarding clinical trials on your area.

Additional Resources for Mesothelioma Victims

If you or a loved one suffer from an asbestos-related disease, you may qualify for substantial compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, awaiting those who’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos illness. We’ve been helping families get in touch with experienced mesothelioma attorneys for over 20 years. Fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area.

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Lang-Lazdunski, L, “Pleurectomy/decortication, hyperthermic pleural lavage with povidone-iodine, prophylactic radiotherapy, and systemic chemotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma: A 10-year experience.”, February 2015, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, pp. 558-566.