From the blog

HITHOC After Pleurectomy and Decortication Surgery Can Improve Survival

Published: August 27, 2021

There are some good results coming from a German study looking at Pleurectomy and Decortication surgery (P/D) being combined with HITHOC. Pleurectomy surgery is surgery that removes mesothelioma tumors but leaves the lung intact while HITHOC is a method of adding heated chemotherapy to the pleural area, sparing the rest of the body. When used together, P/D surgery and HITHOC created a median progression free survival of more than a year and a half.

Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleura, which is a type of mesothelial membrane that lines the lungs. Since the membrane surrounds the lungs, cancer growing on the membrane makes it less pliable and harder for people to breath because their lungs don’t expand. Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer and does not have a cure, which is why researchers try to find new treatments for the disease. There has not been a breakthrough that has saved lives, but people can at least live longer because of new advances in treatment. P/D surgery and HITHOC is a great example of new mesothelioma treatment. The treatment involves first removing the cancerous pleural membrane and all or part of the diaphragm as well as tissue in the chest that could have mesothelioma tumors. Doctors use HITHOC to kill any remaining mesothelioma cells that could be in the body after surgery. If the remaining cells are killed, new tumors could be prevented.

The study had 76 patients with pleural cancers (61 pleural mesothelioma and 15 with a different cancer that spread to the membrane).  During the study, there were 23 patients that had complications and no patients died within 30 days, however 1.3 percent of those in the study died within 90 days. The median progression free survival (amount of time cancer does not get worse) was 18.4 months. This is great news because the survival time after being diagnosed is usually only around one year. The researchers in the study were able to conclude that pleurectomy surgery and HITHOC had low morbidity and mortality and good local tumor control in patients who have pleural mesothelioma or pleural metastases.

Pleural mesothelioma has no cure, which is why it is so important to find new advances in treatment. New treatments can help improve the survival of patients and make their lives more comfortable.

Klotz L.V. et al., “Cytoreductive Thoracic Surgery Combined with Hyperthermic Chemoperfusion for Pleural Malignancies: A Single-Center Experience” Respiration (2021). [Link]
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