When determining the extent of the cancer growth of any patient, a doctor will normally use a staging method. This gives the patient a clearer picture of where they fall on the continuum of the disease. It is also an invaluable tool for doctors, since it can help determine whether or not a patient is eligible for a clinical trial.
Pleural mesothelioma, as opposed to other types of mesothelioma, is centered around the lungs. Other types of mesothelioma can affect other parts of the body, such as the stomach and heart.
Medical researchers from Harvard have recently studied how staging of pleural mesothelioma has been done in the past, and whether there is a more precise method available, as more research is being performed in the area of mesothelioma.
In general, there have been three characteristics that doctors have looked at to determine the stage of a patient’s pleural mesothelioma. It is referred to as the “TNM Staging” for malignant mesothelioma, and also applies to other cancers.
Normally, pathology is used to determine these factors.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, have said that that this method of pathological staging does not always show an accurate picture.
The researchers are looking at a more clinical method to determine the staging of each patient’s mesothelioma. They do this by applying quantitative staging. This is done by taking 3D CT scans and looking at maximal fissural thickness (Fmax) of the lymph nodes.
Researchers found that looking at the physical aspects of the disease presented more accurate information about the staging of the disease. During the study, they found that more than 200 patients were not staged as progressively as they should have been, given how far the disease had progressed.
Additionally, they also found that nearly twenty percent of the patients had less-progressed mesothelioma than they had previously been told. Therefore, the previously-used staging method could be inaccurate in either direction.
Once patients are correctly staged, the medical community can accurately determine whether they are eligible for certain medical studies, and the results of the experimental treatment could therefore be more favorable to the patients if they are staged correctly.
Often, patients feel encouraged when enrolling in experimental treatments, and it can assist them mentally and physically.
Pleural mesothelioma patients should know that help is available and that new staging methods may ultimately assist them in obtaining treatment. The Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler strives for maximum recovery for our clients, and we share information to make connections that assist in their treatments as well. To make an appointment in our Philadelphia office, call us at 215-569-4000, or contact us online to provide you with legal advice concerning your case today.