New Tri-Modal Treatment May Extend Mesothelioma Survival Rates

In an article in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center published promising results on a new tri-modal mesothelioma treatment with intensity-modulated pleural radiotherapy (IMPRINT).

The study analyzed 209 mesothelioma patients. Of the 209 patients 131 underwent a pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) followed by chemotherapy and traditional radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is used to damage malignant cells to prevent them from replicating. With this traditional treatment protocol comes a large risk of adverse side effects because the radiotherapy may also compromise the healthy cells.

The remaining 78 patients underwent P/D and chemotherapy but were administered a more precise, dose adjustable IMPRINT radiotherapy. Unlike traditional radiotherapy, IMPRINT is confined to only one lung and the dosages can be altered to match the size and type of tumor. Intensity control minimizes damage to the healthy cells.

One of the article’s authors Fauzia Shaikh stated “Trimodality therapy including adjuvant hemithoracic IMPRINT, chemotherapy, and P/D is associated with promising overall survival rates and decreased toxicities in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma,”

The overall results showed a significant increase in survival rates coupled with lower rates of adverse side effects and complications. Those who were likely to experience the most positive benefits from the tri-modal therapy were those who were in better general health prior to surgery, had the epithelioid type of mesothelioma, and had the entire tumor removed during the P/D.

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