The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recently announced updated guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma patients. I’m always amazed at the tireless efforts of the researchers, physicians and health care professionals who strive for better care for mesothelioma patients who’ve been my clients over the last three decades. Thirty-four dedicated NCCN panel members from many well-regarded cancer centers developed these new mesothelioma guidelines.
The NCCN guidelines for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma provide physicians who are responsible for the diagnosis, treatment and care of mesothelioma patients with a clear overview of treatment options. Strong reliance is placed on a multidisciplinary team with experience in malignant pleural mesothelioma. The mesothelioma patient’s team may include a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, diagnostic imaging specialist and pulmonologist. Some mesothelioma patients may be candidates for multimodality therapy. This therapy includes surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. The NCCN reports that for mesothelioma patients who undergo the trimodality therapy, median survival of up to 29 months has been reported.
In all my 33 years representing mesothelioma clients from all over the country, this is unprecedented, thanks to the wonderful result of the collaborative effort of medical researchers at many institutions enrolling mesothelioma patients in clinical trials whenever possible.