Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer that is estimated to strike only about 3,000 Americans each year. Although rare, this condition continues to be one of the deadliest forms of cancer due to a number of reasons. New research, however, is providing some hope in that physicians may be better able to predict outcomes of treatment. The use of PET/CT scans prior to treatment has been shown to be useful in enabling doctors to better predict the course of mesothelioma and potentially identify patients who might require additional chemotherapy.
The study in question involved data related to more than 200 patients with mesothelioma. Researchers found there were a number of factors that could be associated with shorter patient survival, including age, tumor size and spread. In addition, a number of values that were evidenced using PET/CT scans served as outcome predictors. These factors included such things as metabolize tumor volume and total lesion glycolysis.
Mesothelioma is a very aggressive type of cancer that forms in the pleura of the lungs. This is the tissue that surrounded the lungs. Tumors associated with this form of cancer are known to not respond well to chemotherapy or radiotherapy alone. With that in mind, standard treatment tends to involve both procedures and surgery, as well. The study shows that it may be possible to predict the outcome of such treatment before it begins, potentially enabling doctors to make patient-specific adjustments to improve patient outcomes or quality of life.
People who are concerned about mesothelioma or other forms of cancer are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. Doctors can help individuals assess their risks for certain forms of cancer and may be able to advise courses of action to lower those risks. Should mesothelioma be diagnosed, it is important for patients to work closely with their doctors to explore all possible treatment options.