The role of palliative radiotherapy in malignant mesothelioma

Chest pain is often a major problem in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma but there are few data regarding the usefulness of radiotherapy in its palliation

D BISSETT

2005

Scholarcy highlights

  • Chest pain is often a major problem in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma but there are few data regarding the usefulness of radiotherapy in its palliation
  • Following a recent retrospective report which suggested that wide-field RT frequently affords pain relief in this disease, we prospectively assessed the effect of hemithorax irradiation on pain control
  • Symptoms were graded by the clinician and the patient, and analgesic requirements were noted at each assessment
  • Performance status and respiratory status were recorded by WHO and MRC criteria respectively
  • Pain control improved in 13/19 patients at 1 month, but 9/12 patients had worsening chest pain at 3 months, and at 5 months pain control had deteriorated in 6/7 patients
  • Partial regression of chest wall masses was seen in 5/9 patients, RT did not appear to delay the progression of respiratory symptoms or radiological changes
  • Radiotherapy can relieve pain due to malignant pleural mesothelioma but its effect at this dose is short-lived

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