Study Says Select Mesothelioma Patients Benefit from Closed Procedure, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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A small French study finds that certain patients with peritoneal cancers like mesothelioma may have better outcomes with laparoscopic surgery than with a traditional open approach.

Patients who had laparoscopic CRS/HIPEC stayed in the hospital for a median of a week less than their open-surgery counterparts.

New research published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology and detailed by Surviving Mesothelioma suggests that patients with low-level cancers on the peritoneum (abdominal lining) spend less time in the hospital and have fewer complications when they have minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy instead of traditional surgery.

Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) followed by a rinse of heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is the primary treatment for mesothelioma and other cancers that occur on the peritoneum. Traditionally, CRS with HIPEC involves major open abdominal surgery. But researchers in France found even better results among patients who had the same procedure through small incisions using a laparoscopic camera for guidance.

All of the patients in the study had low-grade cancers with limited spread on their peritoneum. Some had pseudomyxoma peritonei and others had multicystic mesothelioma, a type of mesothelioma that causes small cyst-like peritoneal tumors. Eight patients underwent laparoscopic CRS/HIPEC between January 2011 and November 2012. Their results were compared with those of 8 other patients who previously had the traditional open CRS/HIPEC procedure for peritoneal cancers like mesothelioma.

Patients who had the laparoscopic surgery were in the operating room for a median time that was 30 minutes shorter than those who had the open procedure – 210 minutes vs. 240. Only one of the patients in the laparoscopic group had a serious complication, while four patients in the open procedure group had complications. Finally, patients who had laparoscopic CRS/HIPEC stayed in the hospital for a median of a week less than their open-surgery counterparts.

In a published summary of their findings, the researchers conclude that laparoscopic CRS/HIPEC “is feasible and safe for curative treatment of strictly selected patients with peritoneal surface malignancy”. The findings could have implications for patients with low-grade peritoneal mesothelioma who are candidates for surgery. Other studies have found that minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures tend to result in less blood loss, fewer infections, and less pain than open surgery.

The original study was conducted at the Hospices Civils de Lyon in France and published in the European Journal of Surgical Oncology. (Passot, G, et al, “Postoperative outcomes of laparoscopic vs. open cytoreductive surgery plus hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy for treatment of peritoneal surface malignancies”, October 16, 2013, European Journal of Surgical Oncology, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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