Cracking the Code: Revolutionizing Mesothelioma Staging

Cracking the Code: Revolutionizing Mesothelioma Staging

A group of researchers from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) teamed up to help us understand this disease better. The IASLC developed a mesothelioma database to improve disease staging. Staging is important because it helps doctors plan the best treatment

The Power of Data and International Collaboration

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a complex disease. Mesothelioma diagnosis and accurate staging are often difficult to pin down. And the diagnosis is further complicated by different disease subtypes. When doctors talk about mesothelioma, they often mention staging.

Doctors use staging to give an idea of how big the cancer is and if it has spread to other parts. They might use numbers like 1, 2, 3, or 4 to describe the stages. A lower number means the cancer is small and hasn’t spread much. A higher number might mean it’s bigger and might have gone to other places. Staging helps doctors plan the best treatment.

The IASLC developed a mesothelioma database to improve mesothelioma staging. The dataset included 3,101 patients, and the validation cohort 1,733 patients. Patients were entered into the database from 2009 to 2019.

This info was like pieces of a puzzle they put together to figure out how to predict what might happen to people with mesothelioma. They wanted to know how serious it could get and what might help people survive longer.

To validate the new theory, the researchers applied predictive models to a group of patients who had been diagnosed between 2009 and 2019. This was like conducting an experiment to prove if the new theory holds true in the real world. And impressively, the predictions aligned closely with the actual outcomes observed in these patients.

In the predictive models, the IASLC’s creation outshone the previous approach. That was the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) model. The IASLC’s model showed a higher level of accuracy. This is a bit like striking closer to the bullseye in archery. This improvement in accuracy translates to more informed decisions and better care for patients.

Unveiling the Puzzle for Better Patient Care

They also looked at the different way people used to guess about mesothelioma, like using another recipe. This recipe, called the EORTC model, was not as good as the IASLC’s recipe. The IASLC’s way of guessing was more accurate, like getting closer to the bullseye in darts.

With every new discovery, we get a little better at fighting back against this disease. Thanks to the IASLC team, we’re getting closer to helping people with mesothelioma live better lives.


Wolf, A. S., Rosenthal, A., Giroux, D. J., Nowak, A. K., Bille, A., de Perrot, M., Kindler, H. L., Rice, D., Opitz, I., Rusch, V. W., Pass, H. I., & Members of the IASLC Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee and Advisory Board and Participating Institutions. (2023). The IASLC Pleural Mesothelioma Staging Project: Updated Modeling of Prognostic Factors in Pleural Mesothelioma. Journal of Thoracic Oncology: Official Publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, S1556-0864(23)00725-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2023.08.005


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