Only 76 patients in the UK have been treated with Cytoreductive surgery since 1998, despite the procedure having a higher three-year survival rate than traditional treatments. Mesothelioma UK provided an outline for this in a recent newsletter.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a malignant cancer, which affects the lining of the stomach and other abdominal organs. Other affected organs may include the appendix, pancreas, ovaries and colorectal areas.

Currently, treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma may include chemotherapy and surgery to remove all or part of the tumour. Sadly, according to Cancer Research UK, chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not always work well for mesothelioma.

This may be why advancements in cytoreductive therapy could be particularly groundbreaking. The surgery is achieving a very promising set of figures. In total, 75% of mesothelioma sufferers are still alive three years after the treatment. These rates increase to 96% for those with multicystic or well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma.

What is cytoreductive surgery?

Cytoreductive surgery involves the removal of the lining of the abdomen and any parts of the affected organs. Chemotherapy is added following this invasive surgery in an attempt to remove the remaining cancerous cells. The focus of this treatment option is to attempt to either allow complete survival of the patient by removing all of the cancer cells, or at least relieve them from some of their symptoms.

Where is this treatment available?

This treatment is not readily available to patients through the NHS – other than at selected centres. This is because in 2015 the NHS concluded that there was not enough evidence to show that these treatment options were effective.

Currently, the only centres that perform the treatment are:

  • Basingstoke
  • North Hampshire Hospital

The North Hampshire hospital performs the treatment as part of a wider collaboration with other centres abroad to carry out further research.

Many patients with this type of mesothelioma tumour will not meet the strict and rigorous selection process required to receive the treatment. Many people are not suitable for surgery due to the extent of their condition.

The small amount of data we have on this treatment makes it clear that there is the potential for greater survival rates for patients. It is clear that more research needs to be done into this method of treatment to see if it can be used on more mesothelioma patients in the future.

How can we help?

If you are suffering from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure we may be able to help you claim compensation. Our experts will be happy to advise you as to your own situation. Please call us today on 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to our ‘contact us’ page; complete the form, and we will be in touch.

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