The American Society of Clinical Oncology
(ASCO) recently convened an expert panel of doctors, researchers, and cancer advocacy experts to review medical literature on mesothelioma studies conducted from 1990 to 2017. The expert panel did so with special interest to survival, disease-free or recurrence-free survival, and quality of life using available evidence and informal consensus to develop evidence-based guideline recommendations on how best to treat pleural mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral once commonly used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications for its heat resistant properties. Mesothelioma can take decades to show symptoms and unfortunately, there is no cure for the cancer that can spread from the thin linings of tissue surrounding the lungs to other vital organs.
The expert panel identified a total of 222 studies from the 27-year time period and developed several evidence-based recommendations developed for diagnosis, staging, chemotherapy, surgical cytoreduction, radiation therapy, and multimodality therapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The expert panel used five guiding questions to help come up with their recommendations, including: