There are many people in Pennsylvania who suffer from mesothelioma due to years of exposure to asbestos. One of the accepted treatments for this lung condition is surgery combined with radiation. However, researchers from Duke University Medical Center are challenging the radiation portion of that treatment plan.
Survival rate does not increase with radiation
According to the Duke researchers, adjuvant hemithoracic radiation that is used to treat mesothelioma patients does not increase the patients’ likelihood of survival. Researchers looked at patients who underwent aggressive surgery for tumors, some of which received radiation as part of their treatment plan. The patients that received radiation were not found to have better outcomes than the patients that did not receive radiation.
Risk of radiation toxicity
Authors of the study pointed out that radiation toxicity is a significant concern for patients. Among the patients that received radiation treatment, 80% experienced one or more adverse events from the treatment. Researchers say that the patients who underwent radiation experienced symptoms like:
Some of the immediate signs of radiation poisoning could have a lasting impact on patient outcomes. Duke researchers warned that radiation patients would have impaired nutrition and functional status, which could impact their immune systems and wound healing.
Duke researchers have also questioned chemotherapy
Conventional thinking on the treatment of mesothelioma has been called into question by Duke researchers before. In 2020, a group of researchers from Duke published a study on neoadjuvant chemotherapy treatment that is used to treat mesothelioma. The researchers claimed that chemotherapy treatment that is used prior to surgery has no benefit to patients.
Mesothelioma patients may be entitled to compensation
With new research being done all the time, a mesothelioma patient may receive advice from their doctor to change treatment plans. Treatment for such a serious disease can be very lengthy and expensive. However, mesothelioma that was caused by work conditions is often the subject of a lawsuit.