A group of scientists published a study on mesothelioma data to find trends on how patients are being treated, and how long they survive. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have published a study on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in the journal Cancer Medicine.
They looked at data from the National Cancer Database to find trends in who is getting MPM, how they are being treated, and how long they survive after diagnosis.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer that grows in the cells lining the lungs. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos at work or at home.
MPM occurs in about 2,000 people in the United States every year. Rates of pleural mesothelioma vary throughout the world and are highest in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Conventional treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (cisplatin and Alimta). The median survival with conventional treatment is a little over a year.
The National Cancer Database was created in 1989 and is a comprehensive cancer surveillance resource. It documents 72% of cancer diagnoses in the United States each year. The database is managed by the American Cancer Society and the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Large Hospital Datasets
The scientists pulled data from the National Cancer Database for patients diagnosed with MPM between 2004 and 2020.
The results show that around 41,000 people were diagnosed with MPM, and the average age at diagnosis was 70. More men were diagnosed than women, and most patients were white.
Since 2008, more people have been diagnosed at an earlier stage, and since 2010, more people have been offered treatment. The most common treatments were chemotherapy and surgery. The average survival time after diagnosis was a little over 10 months.
According to the study authors, “larger multi-institutional studies such as this one will help us better characterize this disease and eventually conduct collaborative randomized clinical trials to identify the best and eventually improved treatment modalities.”
More research using large datasets like this will help doctors and researchers to make better treatment decisions for patients with MPM.
Bou-Samra P, Chang A, Azari F, et al. Epidemiological, therapeutic, and survival trends in malignant pleural mesothelioma: A review of the National Cancer Database [published online ahead of print, 2023 Apr 16]. Cancer Med. 2023;10.1002/cam4.5915. doi:10.1002/cam4.5915. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/cam4.5915