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Radiotherapy may not offer benefit for mesothelioma patients

Mesothelioma patients in Kentucky may soon be receiving a different recommended treatment plan from their oncologist. A new study found that prophylactic radiotherapy may not be a successful treatment option for this form of cancer. Prophylactic radiotherapy has been used for over 20 years in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma.

The study was done by researchers in the United Kingdom and looked at a group of 375 mesothelioma patients from 54 different hospitals. All of the patients had undergone one or more chest wall procedures, such as a chest-drain insertion or an open surgical biopsy. Prior studies had shown that doing these procedures increased the risk of chest wall metastasis by 2 to 50%. Medical professionals had recommended radiotherapy to minimize this risk.

Researchers compared those who had undergone a chest wall procedure and had received radiotherapy afterward to those who didn't receive radiotherapy. The study found that there was no significant difference between the two groups. Furthermore, researchers believe that undergoing radiotherapy may delay chemotherapy treatment, which could further advance the cancer. The use of radiotherapy for mesothelioma dropped recently in the United States. Study researchers believe that the results of the study may cause the use of the treatment to drop further.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in the lining of the chest wall. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, which was a commonly used building material until the 1970s. Employers who allowed their employees to be exposed to asbestos behaved negligently and may be responsible for medical and compensatory damages for the patients and the affected family members. A lawyer may be able to file a claim on behalf of mesothelioma patients or family members. If the patient worked for a business that exposed him or her to asbestos, the family may be awarded damages.

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