Increased Survival Rate in Finnish Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients

A significant improvement in the survival time for the Finnish Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients was recorded. A selected group of patients received a combination of HIPEC (Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) and CRS (Cytoreductive surgery) resulting in 5 years survival time for 50% of the patients and those who received radical therapy plus chemotherapy gained 5 years survival time for 75% of the patients.

Recent research conducted on the Finnish peritoneal mesothelioma patients has revealed that a combination of surgical treatment and chemotherapy can significantly elevate the survival time.

Researchers from the University of Helsinki, the department of surgery at Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, and the Helsinki University, Finland have deduced remarkable results by using a combination of chemical and surgical treatments in comparison with a previously done, smaller study conducted in Finland.

Authors of the research article wrote that,

The aim was to clarify the effectiveness of different modalities on different histological subtypes and in patients exposed to asbestos, We assessed the effectiveness of the different treatment modalities given to these patients

This research has concluded the median survival rate to be 62 months after the treatment, and 66% 5-year survival rate. On the other hand, previous research, studying only the effects of chemotherapy on peritoneal mesothelioma patients had a median survival of only 4 months after the disease diagnosis.

Remarkable improvement in the survival time with the use of new surgical procedures and opting different dimension to do so has open new doors for further advancement in the clinical research as well as patients suffering through peritoneal mesothelioma can take immense benefits with this procedure.

Authors of the research have addressed the issue of administering only chemotherapy as treatment during the study saying,

“Despite these advances in treatment, the majority of patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma receive only palliative care of systemic chemotherapy, leaving many eligible patients without the benefit of this more invasive treatment modality,”

This research is certainly a milestone in improving the clinical procedures for the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma. This research is highly reliable, as it is the first multicenter nationwide study in Finland on peritoneal mesothelioma and was published in the February 2019 issue of Anticancer Research.

Magical Duo of HIPEC and CRS

HIPEC (Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) is one of the highly recognized methods in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma and abdominal cancers. When combined with (CRS) cytoreductive surgery, it notably improves the survival time for peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

In January 2008, International Journal of Hyperthermia has published a study showcasing the increased median survival rate of CRS-HIPEC treated patients to 5 years without the occurrence of the disease, while 8 years of survival time overall.

Use of HIPEC in combination with CRS as a positive surgical option for the treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis was first recommended by Sugarbaker in 1995, while working at the Cancer Institute of Washington Hospital Center, Washington, Columbia. This duo of CRS-HIPEC has shown a wondrous increase in the survival time of selected patients of appendiceal, primary peritoneal cancers, and appendiceal cancers.

Similarly, recently in 2017 researchers from Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital have studied that the combined treatment with CRS and HIPEC give an astounding 6.65 years survival median. About 30% of the patients studied in this research survived 10 years or greater than that.

Certainly, all these researchers reveal astounding survival time improvement with the combination of surgical treatment with chemotherapy.

The rate of Mesothelioma Occurrence in Finland

In Finland, HIPEC was added in the treatment manual for the mesothelioma in 2007, which is decades after the publication of its positive impact on the health of patients. But the occurrence cases of mesothelioma in Finnish people are long being reported.

A review published in the Oxford Academic Annals of Oncology back in 2006 revealed that from 1953 to 1967 due to the exposure of asbestos fiber, Anthophyllite, 736 male miners suffered through peritoneal mesothelioma.

In another study published recently in 2016 by the researchers of Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, with the help of Finnish Cancer Registry, Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, and Kuwait University, Faculty of Public Health, that was conducted on the people being heavily exposed to the asbestos revealed that standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for the occurrence of mesothelioma ranges from 3 folds to more than 100 folds in all groups.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that mainly target abdominal lining (the peritoneum) and 20% to 25% mesothelioma cases are of peritoneal mesothelioma. A major cause of this cancer is ingestion of devastating asbestos fibers.

This type of cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed mesothelioma cancer standing right after pleural mesothelioma that targets the thoracic cavity. Treatment wise, peritoneal mesothelioma can be more effectively treatable than pleural mesothelioma.

Research Pattern Depicting the Effect of Singular and Combined Application of Chemotherapy and Surgery

In order to find out the effect of surgery, normally administered method (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, all 94 cancer patients were treated with different conditions.

44 patients out of 50 were given no treatment or just a tranquilizing effect. Remaining 6 patients underwent different procedures with the intent of treating peritoneal mesothelioma.

Of these, 4 patients were treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radical surgery. 2 patients were treated with cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Resulting percentages of increment in the survival time were astonishing, as all the patients treated with CRS plus HIPEC, and with chemotherapy and radical surgery showed remarkable increment in the survival time.

Three out of four patients given the combination of chemotherapy and radical therapy survived approximately 5 years of happy life after the cancer diagnosis.

While 50% or 1 of the 2 patients treated with CRS plus HIPEC survived 5 years after the diagnosis of cancer. Authors wrote in the research article,

Radical surgery with chemotherapy and CRS with HIPEC were associated with superior overall survival

Interestingly, this research has revealed that patients treated without hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy had better survival time. According to the research,

An interesting observation was that survival results for patients not treated with HIPEC were even better than for those treated with HIPEC.

Depicting that future research conducted on a larger number of patients for treatment purposes can enlighten with additional positive impacts of both procedures in different experimental designs.

Generally, the survival time for the patients not undergoing cytoreductive surgery is no more than a year. And patients who are getting cytoreductive surgery have 5 years of survival time. With the great results obtained from the combination of cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC have certainly raised the hope bar up high, and more patients from all around the world can take benefits from these procedures in the future.

Amna Anees

Author

Amna has recently received her Master's degree in molecular biology and currently working as blogger and content writer. With a strong interest in Science, she loves to research and write about new developments in the therapeutic studies of mesothelioma.