Testicular mesothelioma is a rare type of mesothelioma that occurs in fewer than 50 people each year. Researchers in Australia compared the qualities of testicular mesothelioma with more common types of this cancer.
Asbestos Exposure and Treatment
Most cases of mesothelioma occur around the lungs (pleural) or around the abdomen (peritoneal). However, there are two rare subtypes that can occur. One is found around the testis and the other can be found around the heart.
Testicular mesothelioma is also called paratesticular or mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis. The most common symptom is a mass or hydrocele (buildup of fluid) inside the scrotum.
Like the other types of mesothelioma, testicular mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is usually a long latency between asbestos exposure and diagnosis.
Treatment for testicular mesothelioma is the same as the treatment for pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma. It typically includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
The mortality rate from testicular mesothelioma has been reported to be 53% over a mean follow-up time of two years. Even with treatment, this tumor has a very poor prognosis with a median survival of about 23 months.
Understanding the Differences
In a new study published in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, researchers looked at nine cases of testicular mesothelioma. They compared the molecular qualities of this subtype with more common forms of mesothelioma (pleural and peritoneal).
Seven out of the nine cases of testicular mesothelioma were of the epithelioid cell type, while the other two cases were biphasic. About half of all malignant mesotheliomas are epithelioid. This type tends to have a better prognosis than biphasic cell types.
The researchers looked at the molecular qualities of these testicular mesotheliomas and compared them to mesotheliomas from the lungs and abdomen. The testicular mesothelioma tumors were not noticeably different from the other types of tumors.
The genome of testicular mesothelioma in this sample was also like the genome of mesothelioma from other sites in the body.
Since testicular mesothelioma is so rare, this research is important for helping doctors and researchers learn more about this mesothelioma subtype.
Hocking AJ, Thomas EM, Prabhakaran S, et al. Molecular Characterization of Testicular Mesothelioma and the Role of Asbestos as a Causative Factor [published online ahead of print, 2023 Feb 16]. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2023;10.5858/arpa.2022-0283-OA. doi:10.5858/arpa.2022-0283-OA. https://meridian.allenpress.com/aplm/article/doi/10.5858/arpa.2022-0283-OA/490871/Molecular-Characterization-of-Testicular