Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare disease, but enough information is available on the condition to let those who’ve been diagnosed with it know that they face an extremely abbreviated future. The disease is always classified as terminal, with the median survival time for those diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma being 14 months and for those diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma being 31 months. Still, there are some who live with the disease for several years, and a recent study took a deep dive into the characteristics of those who live the longest after the time of diagnosis.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, who reviewed survival data from 888 mesothelioma patients whose information had been entered into the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank in the years between 1990 and 2017. What they found was that there are six specific factors that had a substantial impact on patient longevity. Though each of these positive elements had previously been identified as being of significant help to patient survival, this latest study, which was published in The Lancet, was the first to put all of the demographic and treatment information together to help both patients and physicians understand what contributes to the best mesothelioma prognosis.
In reviewing their results, the researchers cited the following six characteristics that are predictive of the longest mesothelioma survival times. Patients who have at least one of these characteristics will be most likely to have the best chance for extended survival.
- Those who are 45 or younger at the time of diagnosis and treatment
- Those who are female
- Those who are diagnosed with the epithelioid mesothelioma subtype
- Those who are diagnosed while their cancer is in Stage 1 (very little spread)
- Those who are diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma (rather than pleural mesothelioma)
- Those whose treatment includes both surgery and chemotherapy
As more is learned about malignant mesothelioma and more innovative treatment approaches are tested and proven to be effective, it is hoped that this list will expand. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need information on your options, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.