Meso Patients at High-Volume Hospitals Receive Best Treatment
A new study published in the journal Lung Cancer maintains that mesothelioma patients who have lung-related surgery for the treatment of their disease have better outcomes when their surgery is performed at a facility that is considered “high-volume”.
That is, a hospital that does a large number of mesothelioma-related procedures.
The study, conducted by the radiology oncology department at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, showed that patients who had procedures such as the pleurectomy or decortication left the hospital sooner and had fewer complications when their procedures were done at facilities that performed many of those types of surgeries.
A synopsis of the study showed the following:
A little more than half (52%) of the patients who were followed in the study had surgery at hospitals considered high-volume facility, while 48% had surgery at low-volume facilities.
Both types of facilities favored the lung-sparing surgery known as pleurectomy/decortication for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma, though more of the high-volume facilities performed the more radical procedure known as extrapleural pneumonectomy, which removes the entire lung, the pleura, and portions of the diaphragm and pericardium (lining of the heart).
In all cases. the patients who were treated at low-volume facilities tended to stay in the hospital longer and more of them were likely to be readmitted due to complications within 30 days of their release.
In addition, the patients treated at low-volume facilities had a greater likelihood of dying within 3 months of surgery, though the median overall survival rate for patients treated at both types of facilities was between 15 and 18 months.
According to study authors, their results show that where surgery is done has the most impact on post- operative management, patient counseling, referring providers and cost effectiveness rather than for overall survival rate.
Nonetheless, mesothelioma patients should be encouraged to seek care from hospitals and oncologists who offer a wealth of experience treating their disease rather than at a small or non-busy facility that rarely sees mesothelioma patients.
Hence, patients may find it advantageous to travel to a major cancer center rather than to stay in their local area where no such facility is available.
Some insurance policies will cover the cost of travel so patients should always check with their provider first before scheduling appointments.