New research findings on treatment of pleural mesothelioma

New findings of a recent research study are favoring a less extensive surgery treatment for patients of pleural mesothelioma cancer were recently published in an very important medical journal that tracks new developments in cancer research's. The recent study showed that a surgery called pleurectomy/decortications (P/D), in which surgeons remove part of the lungs lining and possibly part, but not all of a lung is more effective than a more extensive surgery.

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos-caused cancers that have killed hundreds of thousands of patients. It develops after people are exposed to asbestos fibres, usually in a their workplaces, and inhale very tiny particles of the material (asbestos). These tiny particles then slow work their way into the linings of a patients’s heart, lungs or abdominal organs and, over a several decades, create cancer cells which then form deadly malignant tumors.

The new findings, which were published in the April 2012 issue of the IASLC (International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's) Journal of Thoracic Oncology, were posted on the UK Medical News Today, one of the leading in independent medical and health news websites.

The Medical News Today report said that victims with early stage pleural mesothelioma may be eligible for aggressive multi-modality therapy involving radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery and there has been a controversy over which of two main approaches is superior. One is called pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) involves a less extensive surgery, where surgeons remove just part of the lining around the lungs, potentially part, but not all, of the lung, and potentially part of the diaphragm and/or pericardium (membrane around the patients heart). The other approach, extrapleural pnemonectomy (EPP), a very extensive surgery where surgeons remove the entire diseased lung, lung lining (pleura), part of the membrane covering the victims heart and part of the diaphragm.

Website said that according to that study, "extrapleural pnemonectomy resulted in higher mortality and morbidity than pleurectomy/decortication, and pleurectomy/decortication resulted in significantly better survival in our experience as in others." The authors of this study "propose that pleurectomy/decortication becomes the standard surgical procedure offered as part of multi-modality therapy in pleural mesothelioma." Until recently, extrapleural pnemonectomy was the considered the standard of treatment. But this recent study along with other latest research seems to point to pleurectomy/decortication becoming the new standard of treatment in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The Medical News Today said that Dr. Michael Weyant, assistant professor at the University of Colorado and thoracic surgeon, wrote an editorial in the April Journal of Thoracic Oncology about this topic. Dr. Michael Weyant concludes that, "the results of the recent study by Lang-Lazdunksi et al provide new data that should lead us to consider pleurectomy/decortication in all trials of treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Based on this data it is too early to completely abandon extrapleural pnemonectomy altogether as there may be patient subsets where the potential reward outweighs the risks of the procedure."

MNT said the lead author of this work is Dr. Loïc Lang-Lazdunski, and co-authors include Dr. James Spicer and Dr. David Landau (King's College London).

In the US health officials say there are about 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma cancer diagnosed each year. Treatment of this rare form of cancer is difficult because just some of cases are diagnosed early enough to treat effectively. Published medical data shows that most patients are told they will have less than 18 months to live after being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.



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