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New tool could help predict which people will benefit from mesothelioma surgery

Last Update 06/04/2021

Researchers in Italy have developed a way to pinpoint which people with malignant pleural mesothelioma would be most likely to benefit from surgery.


Researchers in Italy have developed a way to pinpoint which people with malignant pleural mesothelioma would be most likely to benefit from surgery.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the tissue covering the lungs. It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that used to be commonly used in the construction of buildings. The outlook for the condition is generally poor, as it tends to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. Treatments for mesothelioma usually aim to ease the symptoms for as long as possible.

In a study, published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, researchers followed the progress of 468 people with mesothelioma following surgery for their condition. They focused particularly on the 107 members of the group who lived for 3 or more years after the surgery, and noted that these people had similar characteristics, including being younger and having a low number of affected lymph nodes.

The scientists combined these factors to make a scoring system to help decide whether or not surgery could be beneficial to someone with malignant pleural mesothelioma. They believe that their tool could also help to tailor post-operative care; however, further research is needed in order to establish the model’s validity in practice.

Read the original journal article.

Read our factsheet on work-related lung conditions, which includes a section on mesothelioma

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