Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston conducted an extensive review of survival rates of mesothelioma patients who have undergone extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery. This highly aggressive treatment option involves removal of a lung, the pericardium, and major parts of the diaphragm. Researchers argue that despite growing debate over its effectiveness, the procedure remains a viable option for select patients.
Debate over the usefulness of the surgery began after the 2011 Mesothelioma and Radical Surgery (MARS) study, conducted in the U.K., which showed no survival benefit linked to the procedure. The results of that study have led several European countries to stop performing the procedure, and fewer EPP surgeries have been performed in the U.S.
The Brigham and Women’s study involved a much larger group of patients than the MARS study and offered a different perspective. After examining 529 patients with the epithelioid type of mesothelioma who underwent the EPP between 1988 and 2011, researchers concluded that there was a direct correlation between lymph node status and survival rates. Based on this conclusion, some are calling for a revision of the lymph node staging system, which may lead to better selection of patients who could benefit from EPP surgery.
Of the patients who were evaluated for the Brigham and Women’s study, the median survival rate following the EPP was 18 months. However, researchers found that out of that sample, the median rate of survival for those who had no lymph node involvement was 26 months. Patients who showed metastasis in lymph node stations one and two had a survival rate of 17 and 16 months, respectively. For those patients with lymph node involvement in station three (the most distant from the infected lung), survival rate dropped to just seven months.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital has extensive experience in treating mesothelioma patients with this type of surgery. During the 23-year period of the study, the hospital performed 832 EPPs, including 528 with the epithelioid sub-type. Authors of the study claim that if the surgery is performed in a center that performs a lot of them, especially one that carefully selects candidates based on factors such as lymph node involvement, five and ten year survival rates can be significantly better.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma can be devastating. Seeking out the best doctors and the best possible treatments can be overwhelming, even without the added burden of worrying about the expense. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and long-term care.
Call the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler today and schedule your free consultation with one of our knowledgeable and highly skilled mesothelioma lawyers in Philadelphia. Our center city Philadelphia office represents victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses throughout Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Call us toll free at 800-369-0899 or submit an online contact form.