A new study conducted by researchers from Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy offers some interesting insight to identify suitable treatment options for mesothelioma patients. Specifically, the sodium levels in malignant pleural mesothelioma patients is linked to treatment success and survival for patients diagnosed with the rare cancer.
Researchers followed more than 60 cancer patients with pleural mesothelioma during a ten-year study period. The study found that patients who developed decreased sodium levels during chemotherapy had less favorable outcomes to the treatment. Those with lower sodium levels (hyponatraemia) had a decreased survival rate than those patients whose sodium levels did not drop. The study reveals that chemotherapy patients with mesothelioma who developed hyponatraemia fatally succumbed to the disease an average of six months earlier than those without the condition.
Hyponatraemia adversely depletes a person’s electrolytes and can often occur in patients with cancerous tumors. Some common causes of hyponatraemia include various pre-existing medical conditions as well as drinking excessive amounts of water, which dilutes ones blood. In patients with mesothelioma, chemotherapy treatment can also elicit the condition.
The findings of this research offer important insights into the success of certain treatment options, including chemotherapy, in addressing the symptoms associated with mesothelioma. Overall, patients with lower sodium levels may not be good candidates for chemotherapy to combat their mesothelioma. Evidence of hyponatraemia alone may be an adequate predictor of whether or not treatment will aid in prolonging a mesothelioma patient’s life.
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