Results from a clinical trial, conducted by Papworth Hospital NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust of the UK, indicate that partial pleurectomy significantly improved the quality of life and control of pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity) in mesothelioma patients. The multicenter clinical trial, or MesoVATS Trial, included 175 patients with pleural mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos.
The MesoVATS trial was conducted to determine whether video assisted thoracoscopic partial pleurectomy or talc pleurodesis is more effective in treating mesothelioma patients with pleural effusion. According to an article in Oncology Practice, both treatments are used for treatment of pleural effusion. The primary outcome of the trial was to measure survival one year after treatment. While researchers report that "pleurectomy did not increase overall survival in the study", they did find that pleural effusion was controlled at one month in 37% of patients in the talc group and in 59% of patients in the pleurectomy group. At six months pleural effusion was controlled in 57% of talc and 76% pleurectomy patients respectively. "While the study failed to find a significant effect of surgery in the primary endpart of the survival at 12 months, the improvements in quality of life were particularly relevant for patients with malignant mesothelioma", said Dr. Rintoul, Consultant Respiratory Physician at Papworth Hospital, according to the article in Oncology Practice.
As this new research suggests that partial pleurectomy may significantly improve quality of life, all treatment options including partial pleurectomy should be discussed with treating physicians to determine the best treatment plan for each patient. The field of medicine is constantly evolving benefiting mesothelioma patients, their quality of time with their families and hopefully one day a cure. Patients and families affected by exposure to asbestos who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma can identify potential treatments through various online sources and health care providers. If you need further information, call us at 352-436-4333.