A New York hospital has just published a study on the results of their innovative treatment for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, and they have good reason to be proud. As a result of their efforts, they have recorded a median overall survival rate of 6.65 years, with thirty percent of the 113 patients in the study living more than 10 years after the second stage of the treatment.
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the mesothelium of the abdomen. In recent years, oncologists and surgeons have devised numerous treatment methods specifically for tumors in this area of the body, and have found some success using a combination of surgery to remove the tumor followed immediately by pouring a heated solution of chemotherapy drugs directly into the surgical site to kill any cancerous cells that might be left behind. At New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, mesothelioma physicians have taken this protocol several steps farther, adding a multi cycle chemotherapy treatment after the initial surgery and then following up months later with an additional round of exploration for tumors via laparotomy. If there are tumors present, the procedure is repeated, and if there are none present the patient is still provided another round of heated chemotherapy. All are then given CT scans every six months after to check for the return of tumors.
The results that the group reports in the Annals of Surgical Oncology are astounding, as Dr. Michael Kluger, assistant professor of surgery and leader of Columbia’s mesothelioma program explained recently. “There is hope out there for these patients today. People are living a long time now when they are appropriately treated from the get-go. It is night and day from where it once was.”
The study showed that patients were able to go an average of 38.5 months with no recurrence of their tumors, and for 80 percent of those patients whose tumors returned, additional retreatment was successfully provided. It also showed no difference in the rate of recurrence or overall survival between those whose laparotomy revealed a return of tumors and those whose hadn’t.
Having access to state-of-the-art treatment is essential for mesothelioma patients, but many worry that the cost of treatment will be prohibitive. If you have been diagnosed with this asbestos-related disease, we can help you get compensation for the medical treatment you need and the damages you’ve suffered. Call us today at 1-800-966-2244.