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Repeat Treatments May Help With Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma has had a “one and done” type treatment plan for several years now. In many instances, several different types of treatments are used on the same person. However, it is not common for doctors to repeat the same treatment after it has been used once.

A discovery was recently made in the treatment of Peritoneal Mesothelioma. One specific treatment option, known as HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy), seems to have decent results if a second treatment is done within a certain period of time following the first treatment.

Researchers have studied this option in patients at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. What they found is that in patients whose Peritoneal Mesothelioma recurs after having this treatment the first time, a second treatment has had good results in keeping the condition at bay for between one to two years.

In this particular study, 62 patients were evaluated, and of those patients 7 suffered from Peritoneal Mesothelioma. This particular procedure involves CRS surgery (Cytoreductive). This surgery allows the physician to open up the peritoneum to scrape away the tumor. After the tumor is scraped away, the HIPEC chemo drug is heated and flushed directly into the peritoneum through the open abdominal wall.

The results of the Wake Forest research are as follows:

* Median survival rate following the second CRS/HIPEC procedure was almost 22 months (21.8) for Mesothelioma patients
* 3.2% of patients died from complications related to the procedure
* 48.4% of patients had significant complications related to the procedure
* The longer the amount of time between the first procedure and the second, the more likely positive results would follow

The results of this relatively small study show that the mortality and morbidity rates of the second procedure were right in line with the rates of the initial procedure. Patients didn’t appear to be at any higher risk of complications and death when a second procedure was performed. In fact, for several patients it increased their life span by almost 2 years. Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine believe that survival and positive results depend on how much of the cancer can be scraped away during the second procedure. The tumor needs to have “favorable biology” for the success of the second procedure.

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no known cure for Mesothelioma. This type of cancer is believed to be caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. It is extremely aggressive and the treatment options are very aggressive, as well.