August 3, 2015 — A Seattle mesothelioma treatment center is now using the Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy (SMART) methodology developed by doctors at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto. In Canada, where the SMART protocol has been studied previously, the percentage of mesothelioma patients with a three-year survival rate has more than doubled, from 32 percent to 72 percent. For patients with epithelial mesothelioma, the three-year survival rate is even higher at 82 percent. This is a significant improvement from the average survival rate of 9 to 18 months for patients with pleural mesothelioma.
At Seattle’s Swedish Cancer Institute, Dr. Vivek Mehta has worked on the SMART approach with Susan Richardson, Ph.D., a physicist also at the Swedish Cancer Institute. The two have recently published their findings in the journal Medical Physics.
SMART Methodology for Mesothelioma Relies on Aggressive Radiation and Surgery
Everything about the SMART approach to mesothelioma treatment is aggressive. Patients first undergo a five-day course of hypo-fractionated Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). After the radiation treatment, a thoracic surgeon performs an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), in which the entire lung is removed, along with much of the tissue surrounding it.
The radiation is administered at such high levels that it is toxic to the lung, leaving no option other than an EPP to remove it. The goal of the intense IMRT is to prevent the cancer from “seeding” in the chest during surgery and then recurring afterward.
The recent Seattle SMART study involved just five mesothelioma patients. Compared to patients who undergo an EPP with traditional radiation treatment, the patients in Seattle receiving the SMART protocol have experienced shorter recovery times post-surgery as well as fewer complications.
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If you (or a loved one) have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us byemail or call us at 800.226.9880 to speak with our asbestos lawyers, like Gary Paul and David Bricker in our Los Angeles office, to learn more about how we can assist you and your family with a mesothelioma lawsuit.