Mesothelioma is a hard-to-treat cancer. Usually chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy are used, but they do not do enough to save people’s lives. Scientists may have figured out why this is the case and could potentially have found the main causes that affect survival. These include stage of the tumor, lymph node status, and histological subtype. A new factor may have been found at Kocaeli University in Turkey. This new survival factor could help patients live longer lives.
People diagnosed with mesothelioma with a high platelet count may not live as long compared to people with a low platelet count. Kocaeli University in Turkey performed the research involving platelet counts from 2008 through 2014. The researchers were trying to figure out what clinical characteristics influence mesothelioma patient survival.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer. It is a cancer of the mesothelium, which is a membrane that surrounds different organs. Platelets, which help blood with clotting, were studied alongside mesothelioma survival rates. A typical level of platelets is around 150,000 to 400,000 platelets per microliter. Patients in the study with more than 400,000 platelets per microliter had a worse survival rate and people with less platelets had a better survival rate.
The study was made up of 51 percent male and 49 percent female patients. The average age of patients was 58 years old. Around 70 percent of patients in the study had late-stage mesothelioma at the time they were diagnosed. Ninety percent of the patients took chemotherapy and 10 percent did not because of low clinical scores. When analyzing data from this study, researchers were able to find that patients with a high platelet count had worse survival numbers.
Researchers have found that there are higher levels of platelet counts in people with cancer and that there is a connection between platelet count and progression free and overall survival. Oncologists may be able to use the 400,000 per microliter marker as a test to detect cancer. They can also use it to help determine progression free survival and overall survival of newly diagnosed patients. This study showed that a high platelet count leads to a worse cancer prognosis and a low platelet count leads to a high survival rate. Longer, prospective, and randomized studies need to be performed to confirm the researchers’ findings. If the results are confirmed, doctors can utilize this information to help patients diagnose and treat aggressive cancers like mesothelioma.