Survival rates for pleural mesothelioma can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the stage at diagnosis, overall health of the patient, age, and the treatment approach used. Treatments for pleural mesothelioma often include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and emerging treatments like immunotherapy or targeted therapy.
It’s essential to note that survival rates are typically presented as a five-year survival rate, which represents the percentage of people who survive at least five years after diagnosis. Here are approximate survival rates based on different treatment options:
- For patients who undergo aggressive surgery, such as extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D), the five-year survival rate can range from about 5% to 20% for selected patients. EPP involves removing the affected lung and surrounding tissues, while P/D involves removing the pleura and visible tumors while sparing the lung.
- Chemotherapy, often combined with surgery or used as a standalone treatment, can improve survival rates. The combination of drugs like cisplatin and pemetrexed has shown increased survival rates compared to single-agent chemotherapy. Overall, the five-year survival rate with chemotherapy alone is generally less than 5%.
- Radiation therapy, used alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy, can help control symptoms and improve quality of life but typically doesn’t significantly impact long-term survival rates.
Emerging Treatments (Immunotherapy, Targeted Therapy):
- Immunotherapy drugs such as pembrolizumab or nivolumab, along with targeted therapies that focus on specific genetic mutations, are being researched. While these treatments have shown promise in some cases, their impact on long-term survival rates is still being studied.
It’s crucial to understand that survival rates are statistical averages and may not accurately predict an individual’s outcome. Factors like overall health, stage at diagnosis, response to treatment, and access to specialized care also play significant roles in determining a person’s prognosis.
Additionally, ongoing advancements in treatments, clinical trials, and personalized medicine approaches may continue to impact and improve survival rates for individuals diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.
Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma should work closely with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including oncologists, surgeons, and other specialists, to explore the best treatment options tailored to their specific situation.