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No Quick Fixes


"MPM does not have one widely accepted treatment modality since none reliably results in cure." This is the bottom line for mesothelioma science today: no cure. At the same time, there are certainly some slow fixes. Since few doctors have experience with the disease, one five-year survivor summed up the first step in a sound treatment plan as, "Get thee to an expert. And when you're done with him, get thee to another."

Lawyers can ask some simple, critical questions about survival rates, and encourage their mesothelioma clients to do the same:

  1. What was the staging of the patients for whom the rate is claimed?
  2. How was staging decided (PET scan, mediastinoscopy, open lung biopsy)?
  3. How selective was the group for whom the rate is claimed?
  4. Are these your rates, or someone else's?
  5. For PD, what kind of PD do you do and is your goal a R1 resection?
  6. How many mesos do you see each year? In your career?
  7. How many mesos do you treat each year? In your career?

And even as they try to help clients guide their way through the roughest of waters, lawyers can get on the boat, help read the navigation charts, and even man the oars. Most lawyers who have been "in the business" for a decade or more have working relationships with mesothelioma doctors. It's important for lawyers to not only fund research, but also to drive it, by taking an interest in the research objectives of the doctor or institution they financially support.

Ismail-Khan R, Robinson L, Id.