Study: Elevated platelet counts linked to poor patient outcome

4 Aug 2017 by under Research/Treatment

Mesothelioma 100x100 Study: Elevated platelet counts linked to poor patient outcomeThrombocytosis, where too many blood platelets are present in the body, has been known to predict negative patient outcomes in several types of cancers. However, until recently, its effects on malignant peritoneal (MPM) had not been thoroughly investigated.

Researchers at the University of ’s Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that the presence of preoperative thrombocytosis in MPM patients predicts shortened survival, according to Mesothelioma Research News. The study reviewed data from 100 patients between 2006 and 2015 with MPM who underwent surgical cytoreduction, where as many cancerous cells are removed as possible, and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, where heated chemotherapy is delivered directly to cancer cells. The combination of treatments has been shown to prolong survival in certain patients.  However, “Patient selection criteria remain ill-defined for this operation that is also associated with significant morbidity and mortality,” the study states.

MPM, which affects the lining of the stomach, is the second most common form of mesothelioma. It is contracted through asbestos exposure. “Inhaled asbestos fibers can become lodged in mucous lining the mouth and esophagus,” according to the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America. “Once swallowed, it travels through the digestive system where it can potentially become lodged and develop into a tumor.”

In the study, median overall survival in MPM patients with high platelet counts was 13 months versus 58 months for those with normal platelet counts. The presence of thrombocytosis appeared to indicate a more aggressive tumor. The study concluded, “Elevated preoperative platelet count is independently associated with poor outcome. Notably, thrombocytosis reflects aggressive tumor biology and should be considered a factor in patient selection for CRS and HIPEC.”


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