Despite a rising global incidence, long-term data reveal the U.S. [ incidence rate of pleural mesothelioma ] has decreased and overall survival for patients with mesothelioma is improving, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Lung Cancer Congress, held from March 29 to April 1 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Mohamed Mohamed Shawqi, from Benha University in Egypt, and colleagues used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to extract data from cases diagnosed with microscopically confirmed malignant pleural mesothelioma between 2004 and 2019, excluding all cases with an otherwise unspecified stage. The research objectives were to assess the clinical and epidemiological patterns of pleural mesothelioma in the United States and to track the changing trend of overall survival and disease distribution of the different histological subtypes.
Of the 9,511 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients analyzed, 77.6 percent were male; 90.8 percent were White; 65.3 percent were aged 70 years or older at diagnosis; and 70.5 percent presented with distant disease. The overall incidence rate of pleural mesothelioma was 7.2 per million. The incidence rate decreased from 7.7 per million in 2004 to 6.1 per million in 2019, with a marginal increase in median overall survival.
Longitudinal tracking of cases within different histological subtypes revealed an increase in the proportion of patients presenting with epithelioid mesothelioma. This subtype had a statistically significantly longer median survival (12 months) compared with fibrous mesothelioma and biphasic mesothelioma (four and eight months, respectively; P = 0.001).
The authors note that patients became more likely to present with localized disease. “This trend toward a higher proportion of patients presenting at a localized stage suggests that ongoing efforts to improve early detection and screening methods may be effective,” coauthor Omar A. Abodhady, M.D., from Menoufia University in Shebin El-Kom, Egypt, told Elsevier’s PracticeUpdate. “Clinicians should continue to emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and timely referral for patients at risk, as this can lead to a wider range of therapeutic options and improved survival outcomes. More importantly, knowing the type of mesothelioma could help clinicians to give a specific therapy for this type and hence improve the survival.”
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