New Study Says Lung Removing Surgery Still Riskier, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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The latest study to compare the two major surgical approaches to mesothelioma says the more radical approach is “an independent predictor” for complications and even death.

EPP Surgery Still More Risky

Mesothelioma Surgery Risks

Extrapleural pneumonectomy is associated with greater morbidity and mortality...

Thoracic surgeons and biostatisticians from some of the country’s top research centers say extrapleural pneumonectomy, the most invasive surgical treatment for pleural mesothelioma, is more likely to cause serious problems for patients. Click here to read the story, which has just been posted online by Surviving Mesothelioma.

Doctors from Stanford, UCLA, Duke, the Universities of Chicago and Washington compared the outcomes of 130 mesothelioma patients who had lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) surgery and 95 mesothelioma patients who had lung-removing extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). Patients were treated at several centers that specialized in one or the other approach.

“Extrapleural pneumonectomy is associated with greater morbidity and mortality compared with pleurectomy/decortication when performed by participating surgeons of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons-General Thoracic Database,” writes the study’s lead author, Bryan Burt, MD, a Stanford cardiothoracic surgeon.

The study, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, says the effect of the volume of mesothelioma procedures done at an individual center, and its impact on outcomes, deserves further study.

“The decision of whether or not to have surgery and which type to have is one of the most important decisions a mesothelioma patient has to make,” says Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma. “The EPP vs. P/D debate continues and we feel that, the more information patients and doctors can have when weighing their options, the better.”

To read the details of the new study, as well as a more in-depth explanation of mesothelioma surgical approaches, see Study Finds Higher Risk with Mesothelioma EPP Surgery, available now on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Burt, BM et al, “Malignant pleural mesothelioma and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database: An analysis of surgical morbidity and mortality”, March 14, 2014, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Epub ahead of print,

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