A pair of recent studies suggest that a certain treatment may be able to help treat mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that often affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs, but may also affect other parts of the body. The treatment, called talc pleurodesis, is a surgical procedure to help prevent pleural effusions, which is when fluid builds around the lungs, making it hard for the patient to breathe and allow the disease to spread.
In a recent study published by the Journal of Thoracic Disease, researchers found that the procedure improves survival rates of patients better than some other lung fluid treatments. The results further suggest that the treatment, which is less invasive than others, may be a better quality of life option than more aggressive surgery to remove tumors surrounding the lungs.
The study, conducted by Dr. Emanuela Taioli of the Institute of Translational Epidemiology at Ichan, examined almost 50 other studies focused on the survival rates of patients who underwent talc pleurodesis compared to those who underwent surgery. Research showed that on average, the survival rate of patients treated with talc pleurodesis was 14 months, compared to 17 months for those who underwent invasive surgery, like pleurectomy and decortication, and 24 months for even more aggressive surgeries like extrapleural pneumonectomy.
“A person may choose to do the talc, knowing survival might be a little shorter, but clearly the quality of life may be better by avoiding major surgery,” said Taioli.
A second study in the U.K. journal Lung Cancer suggests successful pleurodesis is associated with survival benefit in malignant effusion and that the survival benefit is maintained after controlling for primary tumour type. According to that study, talc pleurodesis success rates vary between 50-80% according to setting.
That U.K. study was conducted by researchers at the Chest Diseases Department at Oxford. Those researchers found that patients had the longest survival when the fluid in their lungs did not return and those that saw the fluid return had lower survival rates.
Mesothelioma is directly linked to exposure to asbestos, a mineral once used in a variety of military, industrial, and commercial products for its malleability and heat-resistant properties. Unfortunately, while companies knew for decades about the health risks associated with asbestos exposure, these companies did not provide any warning to innocent people who came into contact with the substance on and almost daily basis. Victims who developed mesothelioma may be able to hold some asbestos companies liable for the harm suffered and recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.