A particular surgery performed following the completion of radiotherapy treatment among a group of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma was associated with improved outcomes including overall survival, according to study results recently published in Lancet Oncology.
“Different treatment strategies have been tried (for malignant pleural mesothelioma) … however, these tumors continue to pose a therapeutic challenge,” the study authors wrote. “The overall survival rates remain poor — most patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma die within the first year of diagnosis and only 10.7% are alive after five years.”
Since there is no curative treatment option for the disease, the authors noted, and a lack of general treatment consensus from experts, they sought to analyze the feasibility of performing surgery for malignant mesothelioma after radiotherapy (SMART).
“We hypothesized that [surgery for malignant mesothelioma after radiotherapy (SMART) ] could reduce distant relapses and possibly improve survival,” they wrote. “(Our results) show the best outcomes so far for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma treated with surgery in a large prospective trial.”
[Surgery for malignant mesothelioma after radiotherapy (SMART) ], which is a new approach for managing the disease, consists of a short, accelerated course of high-dose intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) on one side of the chest, followed by extrapleural pneumonectomy, a surgery where the diseased part of the lung is taken out, the study noted.
The trial, which took place between Nov. 2, 2008 and Oct. 31, 2019 at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, involved 96 patients. Each patient was 18 years or older, was previously treated for malignant pleural mesothelioma and had good respiratory function.
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