A mesothelioma diagnosis comes with a lot of uncertainty. Mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is difficult to treat and life expectancy is often short. For pleural mesothelioma patients who are candidates for surgery, the prognosis is often unclear, but that could be changing soon. An Italian research team is developing a statistical model that could help answer some of these questions.
While there are some pleural mesothelioma patients who survive for up to five years, most live less than 12 months. Oncologists have difficulty determining which patients will fall into which category. However, a research team from the National Cancer Institute in Rome has identified certain factors that may help determine survival time for pleural mesothelioma patients undergoing surgery. Known as the Long-Term Survival Model (LTS), it was built by examining data from patients that underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery in Italy.
LTS Patients Shared Similarities That Could Help Predict Treatment Success
Of the 468 patients in the study, 107 (approximately 22.9%) lived for more than three years after their operation. Researchers found similarities among the patients categorized as long-term survivors. All of the long-term patients were younger, averaging 59.7 years. The majority of them had undergone epithilioid histology, and they were less likely to have suffered occupational asbestos exposure. On average, the ratio of metastatic to resected lymph nodes was lower in these patients. There was no significant difference between those on multimodal treatment tracks and those receiving only one type of treatment.
There were some patients in the study with longer survival rates. Out of the LTS group, 48.6% lived for five years, 31.9% for seven years and 22.6% for ten years. Looking at the common characteristics for these LTS patients can not only aid in identifying good candidates for clinical trials, but can also help to personalize treatment plans. Patients who meet LTS criteria may benefit from additional, more aggressive procedures.
Although the results of the study are preliminary, researchers are hopeful that the common factors in LTS patients can be used to develop a more formal classification system for mesothelioma patients. Until then, oncologists will still be doing a bit of guesswork when developing treatment plans. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma and victims are left to endure painful physical symptoms for an unknown amount of time.
Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Asbestos Exposure Victims
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at the Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced legal team will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve for your suffering. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to review your case with a qualified asbestos lawyer.