Lymphohistiocytoid mesothelioma is the rarest subtype of mesothelioma, accounting for less than 1% of diagnosed asbestos cases. Lymphohistiocytoid tumors have bundles of inflammatory immune cells, white blood cells, and histiocytes. The majority of cases for this subtype are of the sarcomatoid type.
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About Lymphohistiocytoid Mesothelioma
Lymphohistiocytoid tumors have bundles of inflammatory immune cells, white blood cells, and histiocytes. They also can have mixtures of epithelioid cells. Patients with mixtures of epithelioid cells sometimes have a more positive diagnosis and more favorable treatment.
Currently, there is not a lot of information on Lymphohistiocytoid mesothelioma, as there are not enough present opportunities to research it further. Instead, experts rely on the tumor characteristics to help provide a correct diagnosis.
Lymphohistiocytoid Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Lymphohistiocytoid tumors, as mentioned earlier, typically have a large amount of immune cells. This makes diagnosis difficult as it mimics other more common diseases. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that this form of mesothelioma has been misdiagnosed as ganglioneuroma, malignant lymphoma, and inflammatory pseudotumor.
To differentiate the tumors, samples are taken during a biopsy, then studied pathologically. When studying the tumor sample, physicians look for a histological type that shows histiocytoid cells that are shaped like a spindle. Most cells will be large and polygonal-shaped as well. White blood cells are generally found mixed into the cells. These characteristics, along with fluid buildup in the lungs and other related symptoms, helps doctors confirm the diagnosis.
A full immunohistochemical staining of the cells is required before doctors can make a confirmed diagnosis. This process helps differentiate other cells that closely resemble each other.
Lymphohistiocytoid Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatment Options
Lymphohistiocytoid mesothelioma symptoms closely resemble pleural mesothelioma symptoms. Although these symptoms will vary according to each patient, the most common include:
- Chest pain
- Chest congestion
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Pleural effusions (the buildup of fluids around the lungs)
- Small bumps and lumps under the skin, around the chest area
- Night sweats
- Lower back pain
With such limited information on lymphohistiocytoid mesothelioma, physicians usually rely on standards forms of mesothelioma treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of all three.
Lymphohistiocytoid Mesothelioma Prognosis
According to the American Journal of Clinical Pathology (AJCP), in the 1980s, early cases of lymphohistiocytic mesothelioma indicated that prognosis was grim after several patients died within five months of treatment. However, later studies conducted in the 2000s showed that with the right treatment, survival rate for those with lymphohistiocytoid mesothelioma can be extended until up to two years.
As with all cases of mesothelioma, however, it’s important to remember the survival rates can greatly vary. Whereas one person may only survive five months, another patient may go on to live years with the right treatment, diet plan, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle choices.
In fact, another study recently indicated that a few patients with lymphohistiocytoid mesothelioma have lived more than five years after they were diagnosed.
Additional Resources and Helpful Information
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