Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer. Early diagnosis is challenging. Treatments are the first clinical option in the advanced disease stage.
A doctor’s initial clinical response says a lot about the patient’s prognosis. It may even represent a useful way to identify patients with a better long-term outcome.
A new Italian study from the Journal of Clinical Medicine looks at this possibility.
First Mesothelioma Treatment Response Options
Scientists looked at the initial treatment response in 46 mesothelioma patients who had pleural mesothelioma. None of these patients had surgery as an option because their tumors were considered inoperable.
The doctor’s initial treatment response included a CT scan and clinical examination. This examination was usually after 2–3 cycles of drug therapy.
One treatment option is anti-angiogenic drugs. These treatments stop cancer tumors from growing their own blood vessels. A second treatment option is immunotherapy. This is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer.
Patients treated with anti-angiogenic drugs or immunotherapy had a better initial treatment response. They were compared to patients only treated with standard chemotherapy.
Predicting a Patient’s Response to a Specific Treatment
For most patients, the disease diagnosis is late and at an advanced stage. This limits the number and types of treatments that are likely to work.
There are many new clinical trials in mesothelioma, but doctors need more information on how to select the best treatment option. For example, it would be helpful if doctors could predict how a patient will respond to each treatment option. There are several predictive factors of treatment options for mesothelioma. But none are very useful in the initial first treatment response.
Artificial Intelligence and Treatment Options
This new study found that patients treated with chemotherapy and innovative treatments had better results. But, the study went further than that. It wanted to find out if a machine learning or artificial intelligence approach could support doctors’ decision-making. The study concluded that more research is needed into this promising idea.
Using artificial intelligence is an important tool for doctors now and in the future. Studies such as these will help clinicians develop ways to match each patient with the best treatment available for them.
Massafra, Raffaella, Annamaria Catino, Pia Maria Soccorsa Perrotti, Pamela Pizzutilo, Annarita Fanizzi, Michele Montrone, and Domenico Galetta. “Informative Power Evaluation of Clinical Parameters to Predict Initial Therapeutic Response in Patients with Advanced Pleural Mesothelioma: A Machine Learning Approach.” Journal of Clinical Medicine 11, no. 6 (2022): 1659. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11061659