Pleurodesis needs more research into patient outcomes, study finds

22 Jan 2018 by under Research/Treatment

upper body 944557 960 720 100x100 Pleurodesis needs more research into patient outcomes, study findsFluid buildup in the chest cavity is a common symptom of mesothelioma. The excess fluid, known as pleural effusion, is linked to shortness of breath, greatly decreasing patient comfort as they fight the deadly cancer. Pleurodesis, a procedure to prevent the future accumulation of fluid, is often used as a treatment method, but a new study highlights how the risks associated with the procedure are not as well-known as popularity of the procedure would suggest.

Scientists at Mount Sinai Medical School “combed through medical literature for studies demonstrating mesothelioma survival” and didn’t have much luck, according to Surviving Mesothelioma. During pleurodesis, Doxycycline or talc powder is placed between chest layers to cause irritation and swelling in hopes getting the lung to stick to the chest wall, eliminating the space for fluid to collect, the University of Wisconsin Madison explains. This can either be performed in a patient’s room or during surgery and involves a chest tube staying in place for at least 48 hours.

Researchers found insufficient literature on patient outcomes for pleurodesis using talc. The new study includes information from 49 other articles and found the mean survival was 14 months for pleurodesis compared to 17 pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) surgery and 24 for surgery. “This review shows that there is limited research on the survival rate after compared to surgery in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma,” the study states. “A comparison study is necessary to accurately assess the best way to treat MPM patients, including assessment of the quality of life after treatment as an outcome measure.”

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