The majority of patients with mesothelioma develop pleural effusions. A pleural effusion is a medical condition in which excess fluid builds up in the pleural space, the space between the lungs and the chest cavity. As the fluid accumulates, it presses on the lungs making it difficult for them to fully expand. Symptoms associated with a pleural effusion include shortness of breath or breathlessness, coughing and chest pain. These symptoms can be disabling and negatively affect a patient’s quality of life. To treat this condition and manage the symptoms, a pleural catheter is inserted into the patient and left in place as a means to periodically drain the fluid as it reaccumulates.
Researchers in Australia did a retrospective analysis of indwelling pleural catheters used during a 44-month time frame. They evaluated the outcomes of 110 catheters that were used in 107 patients. Sixty percent of the patients had a diagnosis of mesothelioma with the remaining patients having various other metastatic cancers. Metastasis along the path of the indwelling catheter or a new lesion at the insertion site of the catheter developed in 11 patients, nine of them with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The metastasis occurred late, a median of 280 days after the catheter was inserted. Six of the patients underwent radiotherapy to the catheter tract metastases. The treatment was well tolerated and no major complications were reported.
The researchers found that the length of time from the initial insertion of the indwelling catheter is the leading risk factor for developing catheter tract metastasis. Essentially, the longer a catheter is in place, the greater the risk. While catheter tract metastasis should continue to be a concern for patients and their treating physicians, the researchers concluded that radiotherapy can be safely administered for indwelling pleural catheter metastasis without having to remove the catheter. The study findings are published in the online journal, Chest.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis or any other asbestos-related disease, contact the Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at the law firm of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to determine what legal options are available to you. Our goal is to secure you the proper and just compensation to which you deserve. Our law offices are conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia making our mesothelioma lawyers easily accessible to residents living in communities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-800-369-0899 to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated, experienced mesothelioma lawyers or contact us online.