A study carried out by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has suggested that earlier palliative care does not improve mesothelioma patients’ survival time or quality of life.

The study was presented in Japan at the World Conference on Lung Cancer. It draws conclusions which completely contrast an earlier study from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which called for the expansion of palliative care.

Mesothelioma & palliative care:

Mesothelioma can materialise as various sub-types including;

  • epithelioid mesothelioma
  • sarcomatoid mesothelioma
  • biphasic mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. Unfortunately, as mesothelioma is an aggressive terminal cancer, those suffering from it have an average life expectancy of 18 months. Therefore, following diagnosis, patients are typically provided with palliative care. This type of care attempts to provide for an improved quality of life for a patient, together with a reduction in pain and symptoms.

What did the study show?

The study included 174 patients who had mesothelioma. The patients were split into two groups. The patients in one group were given an earlier palliative care program whilst patients in the other were not. Most of the patients within the study were suffering with epithelioid mesothelioma and had undergone at least a single chemotherapy cycle.

Surprisingly, the results showed that there was no difference in the quality of life of either group. In addition, both groups had a similar survival time.

Despite this, guidelines still recommend that palliative care be given alongside active treatment for other cancers. This omits specific mention of mesothelioma and, therefore, may show some nuance with treatment options for different patients depending upon their diagnosis.

How can we help?

If you require assistance in pursuing a mesothelioma claim or believe you have a valid asbestos claim for any other asbestos disease then please contact us today. You can do so by calling our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.

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