Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer which, like pleural mesothelioma,
is caused by exposure to asbestos. Instead of attacking the pleura that
surrounds the lung, this type of mesothelioma attacks the lining which
surrounds the organs of the abdomen. Peritoneal mesothelioma is very rare,
accounting for only approximately 500 of the 2,500 to 3,000 cases of mesothelioma
diagnosed per year.
Prior studies have revealed that treatment utilizing cytoreductive
surgery to remove all visible tumor in combination with intraoperative or perioperative
chemotherapy to kill any remaining tumor cells offers the best prognosis and has become
the standard of care in treating peritoneal mesothelioma.
In an effort to identify the factors that contribute to long term survival,
an analysis of 211 cases of peritoneal mesothelioma from 1992 and 2010
was performed by doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Patients treated with cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraoperative
peritoneal chemotherapy showed median survival of 38.4 months, with 41%
surviving at least 5 years, and 26% surviving to 10 years. The use of
the chemotherapy agent Cisplatin resulted in prolonged survival in all
patient groups over the use of mitomycin-C which in the past was the most
common agent used.
Women tended to respond better to the treatment than men. Age and completeness
of resection or tumor removal also contributed to the most favorable response.
Ultimately, the stage of the disease played a key role in patients’
response to treatment.
Peritoneal mesothelioma tends to offer a better prognosis than pleural
mesothelioma due to the location of the disease which is surgically more
accessible, but if left untreated is just as aggressive as pleural mesothelioma.
Patients exhibiting the longest survival rate had regular post treatment
follow-up and additional treatment at the onset of any recurrence of the disease.