A recent study published in the United Kingdom found that prophylactic radiotherapy, a treatment used regularly for two decades for those diagnosed with mesothelioma, offers no benefits to the patient. Prophylactic radiotherapy was regularly given to those with mesothelioma after they received invasive surgery to prevent metastasis of the chest wall, an area of the body where the mesothelioma commonly spreads. The results of the study concluded that prophylactic radiotherapy had no effect on whether the cancer would spread to the chest wall.
Patients who received radiotherapy were found to have the same chance of developing a tumor or chest wall metastasis at the site of a procedure than those that did not receive the treatment. The study followed 375 patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma from 54 different hospitals who had undergone a chest wall procedure.
Within 42 days of the procedure, 186 patients received the radiotherapy and 189 patients did not. After six months, the study found that six of the 186 patients who received the treatment and 10 of the 189 nontreatment patients developed metastasis. The numbers grew substantially after two years; 17 patients who received the treatment and 29 who did not were positive for chest wall metastasis.
Because the survival rate for pleural mesothelioma is so low, the numbers were not convincing enough to deem prophylactic radiotherapy a benefit. This knowledge will get patients diagnosed into chemotherapy quicker, allow for researchers to focus on the effectiveness of other treatments, and patients no longer have to deal with the side effects of radiotherapy.
For over two decades, if a patient with pleural mesothelioma underwent an invasive surgical procedure involving their chest, such as a biopsy, they were routinely given prophylactic radiotherapy to prevent the cancer from spreading, a common danger when performing invasive surgery for those with such an aggressive cancer. Now that research has shown there is no benefit to this treatment, cancer research centers in the United States are advising against the use of radiotherapy. Patients and their doctors can now focus on more reliable and effective treatments.
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma due to the exposure of asbestos, contact a Pennsylvania mesothelioma attorney at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our expert attorneys have the knowledge and experience to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.