Researchers at the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center have recently completed a study looking at the various protocols used to treat patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, and have concluded that the use of a multimodality approach provides patients with the longest survival times. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and provides some of the most comprehensive analyses done to date on the various therapies that have been developed to help those diagnosed with this rare and fatal form of cancer.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an insidious disease that strikes those who have been exposed to asbestos. The condition is particularly challenging to treat, as it is generally only diagnosed when the cancer is extremely advanced: most patients succumb to the illness within two years of their malignancy being identified. Though cancer experts and scientists have worked hard to find an effective form of treatment, to date none has been found. The best patients can hope for is a treatment approach that will provide them with a few more months of survival. The MD Anderson study looked at over 20,000 mesothelioma patients who were treated over a 10-year period between 2004 and 2014 to determine which of the approaches being used provides the best outcomes.
The researchers grouped patients together by shared characteristics, finding 6,645 who were extremely similar, then broke that group down by the treatments that each received. They found that 850 submitted to surgery, 988 had a combination of chemotherapy and surgery, and 274 took a trimodality approach that combined surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It was the last group that had the best outcomes and improved survival times. According to lead author an thoracic surgeon David B. Nelson, MD, “Stratified analysis revealed that surgery-based multimodality therapy demonstrated an improved survival compared with surgery alone, with no significant difference between surgery-based and multimodality therapies.” The group found this to be true despite determining that surgery is a risky approach that resulted in over 6 percent of patients dying within a month and 15.5 percent dying within 3 months.
Learning what science says about the various medical approaches available to treat your mesothelioma diagnosis is important to providing you with the best outcome, and the same is true of understanding your legal options. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244 to learn more about your rights and how we can make sure that you get the justice you deserve.