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Prognostic Factors in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

5201844_patient16Being anemic prior to treatment could be an indicator of poorer outcomes in people with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

That is the conclusion of scientists in Ancona, Italy who have just released a new report on mesothelioma prognosis.

Anemia and the biomarker CA125 emerged at the top of the list of negative prognostic indicators.

Mesothelioma Treatment Outlook

The prognosis or treatment outlook for mesothelioma patients is typically poor. Even the best mesothelioma treatments have a marginal success rate.

Even so, there are cases of long-term mesothelioma survival.

Doctors at the Marche Polytechnic Institute recently attempted to identify the characteristics that separate those with poor mesothelioma outcomes from those who had a better mesothelioma treatment response.

Identifying Mesothelioma Prognostic Factors

The new study included a total of 62 patients who were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma between 2003 and 2013.

The team collected data on their age, gender, smoking history, asbestos exposure performance status, tumor stage, history, type of treatment and routine laboratory tests.

They used two different methods – the Kaplan-Meier method and the Cox method – to analyze the significance of different mesothelioma prognostic factors.

Factors Influencing Mesothelioma Survival

The scientists confirmed what many previous mesothelioma studies have found – that the histological subtype of a patient’s mesothelioma, their performance status (a measure of overall health), and how well they respond to first-line chemotherapy all had a major bearing on survival.

But the team also identified two characteristics they say are likely to have a negative impact on mesothelioma outcomes.

“Our results showed that anemia and increased Ca125 might be considered negative prognostic parameters in malignant pleural mesothelioma patients,” writes medical oncologist Rossana Berardi, whose name appears first on the paper.

Anemia refers to a lack of enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. Anemia results in a lack of oxygen to cells. Ca125 (cancer antigen 125) is a protein found in greater concentration in tumor cells than in normal cells.

Both anemia and Ca125 levels can be determined with a blood test.


Berardi, R, et al, “Clinical and pathologic predictors of clinical outcome of malignant pleural mesothelioma”, February 12, 2016, Tumori, Epub ahead of print

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