Saving Lives and Lung Tissue: The Ideal Surgical Approach for Mesothelioma

Saving Lives and Lung Tissue: The Ideal Surgical Approach for Mesothelioma

New research has outlined the ideal approach to surgery for treating mesothelioma. The news comes from Hyogo Medical University in Japan.

Since surgery is just one part of the treatment plan, it is important to focus on saving the lung tissue as much as possible. After the surgery, the patient’s quality of life should be the top priority, especially when they need other treatments.

Improving Mesothelioma Treatment Outcomes

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers get into the lining of the lungs, it can cause the tissue to become inflamed and grow tumors.

The usual treatment strategy for mesothelioma includes multiple types of therapies. The treatment plans usually include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Since mesothelioma can be difficult to treat, doctors will use more than type of treatment to get rid of as many cancer cells as possible.

There are two types of surgery for mesothelioma. One of these is called extra-pleural pneumonectomy (EPP). The other is called pleurectomy/decortication (P/D).

There is currently no accepted standard among doctors for which type of surgery to perform on patients with mesothelioma. Yet, most doctors prefer to use P/D because it does a better job of sparing lung tissue, reducing side effects, and improving quality of life.

Choosing the Right Surgical Procedure for Mesothelioma

This new study points out important factors when choosing surgery for mesothelioma. Doctors should think about the size of the tumor, its location, and the health of the patient.

One concern is the biggest when performing surgery to remove mesothelioma tumors. That is to make sure the patient is still healthy enough after the surgery to receive other types of treatments. Surgery doesn’t usually remove all the cancer cells, so follow-up treatments are important. Chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy usually follow a surgical procedure.

A multi-modal approach to treating mesothelioma gives the patient the best chance at long-term survival. This is because it kills as many cancer cells as possible.

The study reveals that lung-sparing surgery is an important part of mesothelioma treatment plans.


Kondo N, Hasegawa S. Optimal surgery for resectable malignant pleural mesothelioma in the setting of multimodality treatment [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jul 20]. Surg Today. 2023;10.1007/s00595-023-02723-8. doi:10.1007/s00595-023-02723-8. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00595-023-02723-8.pdf


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