A News Chronic Pain Health — 29 November 2015

mesothelioma xrayA team of Swiss doctors has released a report on mesothelioma relapse and the most effective ways to treat it.

Researchers at University Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the 106 patients who relapsed, surgery appeared to be the most effective second-line mesothelioma treatment.

After examining the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who underwent presurgical chemotherapy and extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery between 1999 and 2013, the researchers found that:

  • Pleural mesothelioma usually recurs at the site of the original tumor. Seventy-nine (74%) of the 106 recurrences happened either at the original site only or at the original site and in another spot
  • Mesothelioma patients were less likely to experience local recurrence of their malignant mesothelioma if they had radiation after surgery
  • People whose mesothelioma tumors recurred only at the original spot survived a median of 5 months longer than the average for the group as a whole

“The median post-recurrence survival (PRS) after surgery was significantly longer than that of patients receiving chemo-, radio-, or chemo-radiotherapy,” writes the study’s lead author Arthur Kostron, MD.

According to their report in the European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the team also found that three quarters of mesothelioma patients with recurrent disease developed new tumors in the original spot. More than half of those also developed tumors in new locations.

“By providing an in-depth look at the patterns of mesothelioma recurrence, it is hoped that this research will be a stepping stone to develop new and better second-line treatments,” says Surviving Mesothelioma Managing Editor Alex Strauss.

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