Radical therapies may not be the best approach, study finds

26 Jan 2018 by under Research/Treatment

Catheter for chemotherapy 1 100x100 Radical therapies may not be the best approach, study findsA medical treatment is considered radical when it exceeds the suggested standard treatment for a particular disease. Standard treatment in the U.S. for mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the heart, lungs or abdomen, involves a combination of chemotherapy drugs pemetrexed and cisplatin. New evidence suggests going above and beyond typical treatment may not always be the best move, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

Researchers from Ain Shims University in Cairo reviewed two randomized clinical studies that included 104 mesothelioma patients to determine the benefits of radical multimodal approaches, which typically involve a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. One study compared patient outcomes for pre-surgical chemotherapy, extrapleural pneumonectomy (EEP) and high-dose radiotherapy. The other compared the outcomes of EEP and radiotherapy with those of non-radical therapy followed by chemotherapy, according to the news source.

In the first study, those who received radiation survived 19.5 months versus 20.8 months for those who didn’t, and in the second, more patients who received radical therapies experienced serious side effects than those in the standard treatment group. “Median overall survival was just 14.4 months among the mesothelioma patients who underwent EPP but 19.5 months for those who had standard non-radical treatment,” Surviving Mesothelioma states.

Though the studies were small the researchers concluded there is a lack of evidence to support the use of radical multimodal mesothelioma treatments. “Given the added cost of multimodality treatment and the possible increase in risk of adverse effects, the lack of evidence of their effectiveness probably means that these interventions should currently be limited to clinical trials alone,” the study concludes.

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