Researchers with the Comprehensive Cancer Center of MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital have found what may make the deadliest form of pleural mesothelioma so aggressive – special characteristics that make it prone to spreading. By blocking this factor, it may be possible to develop new approaches for treating this aggressive form of meso.
Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure that develops in the lining of the lungs. The disease can take up to 50 years to present with symptoms. Once diagnosed, it usually proves fatal within 12 to 24 months. However, there are cases where patients have lived for decades with the disease.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of meso. More rarely, mesothelioma can develop in the lining of the abdomen, called peritoneal mesothelioma. Even more rarely, the disease can form in the lining surrounding the heart, called pericardial mesothelioma.
There are three subtypes of pleural mesothelioma, the most common and least aggressive being epithelioid mesothelioma. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the rarest form, accounting for about 10-20 percent of all cases, and is especially aggressive. The third subtype is biphasic mesothelioma, which contains both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells.
The study focused on the sarcomatoid subtype of pleural mesothelioma. The disease is usually treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. But these study results could help researchers develop new approaches for treating this particular subtype of pleural mesothelioma.
“Our results help to provide a better understanding of the disease,” said Mir Ali Reza Hoda, second lead author of the study. And, “could therefore offer new approaches for treating certain aggressive forms of mesothelioma.”
Source: Medical Xpress