A group of researchers from the University of Texas have found a connection between mesothelioma tumor thickness and patients’ response to therapy and survival.
This study looked at 143 patients who had malignant pleural mesothelioma and received treatment before having surgery.
The researchers wanted to see if the thickness of the tumor before and after treatment could predict how well the patient would respond to the therapy and how long they would survive.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs and chest wall. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in about 2,000 people in the United States every year.
Conventional treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (cisplatin and Alimta). According to medical studies, the median survival with conventional treatment is little more than a year.
It is important for doctors to make treatment decisions quickly after a mesothelioma diagnosis. This is because once mesothelioma is found in a patient, it has usually reached the point of progressing to a deadly stage. The sooner a patient can be treated, the better their chances of survival.
There are currently no validated signs that predict how a patient will respond to treatment. The researchers in this study wanted to see if the thickness of mesothelioma tumors could predict how effective treatment would be for affected patients.
Role of Tumor Thickness
They found that patients with thicker tumors before treatment were less likely to have a good response to therapy and had a worse overall survival. However, patients with thicker tumors who had a partial response to therapy had a better chance of survival.
This is the first study to show a connection between tumor thickness and response to treatment and survival. More research is needed to see if this finding can be used to help patients.
Zhou N, Bell CS, Feldman HA, et al. Tumor thickness in mesothelioma predicts differential response to neoadjuvant therapy and survival [published online ahead of print, 2022 Dec 14]. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2022;S0022-5223(22)01337-X. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2022.12.003. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36737380/