Mesothelioma Study Finds Less-Invasive Surgery Provides Better Results

A study from Japan’s Hyogo College of Medicine found that more aggressive forms of mesothelioma surgery did not equate to longer lifespans for patients. The study included data from 2004 to 2016 and analyzed the outcomes of patients that had received surgery for pleural mesothelioma.

The researchers suggest that lower-risk surgeries be performed. The less-invasive options do not compromise survival and may allow for similar outcomes based on the study’s findings.

The study, which included 152 patients and 117 that underwent three main forms of therapy: conventional extrapleural pneumonectomy, less invasive forms of extrapleural pneumonectomy, or pleurectomy and decortication.

Conventional therapy offered a median survival rate of 18.5 months, while the less-invasive form of surgery offered a 41.9-month survival rate. Those that underwent pleurectomy and decortication surgery lived the longest at 43.4 months.

Researchers found that the “less is more” approach worked best for patients. Researchers do note that the surgical procedures and techniques varies by time. The less-invasive therapy was introduced after 2009, while the conventional surgery was between 2004 and 2009.

The pleurectomy and decortication, which is the least-invasive of all, was performed on patients between 2012 and 2016.

Researchers claim that while the data provided is a step forward, the results may not apply for all mesothelioma patient groups. Japan is known to operate on their patients earlier than in Europe and the United States. Earlier surgery may also correlate to a longer lifespan, so the results may not be consistent with surgeries performed later in the patient’s diagnosis.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology recently changed their guidelines to claim that the recommended option for most patients that are suffering from pleural mesothelioma should be the pleurectomy and decortication.

Pleurectomy and decortication surgery has also been shown to offer better outcomes for patients that are suffering from mesothelioma recurrence.