Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada and Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, analyzed the platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) in Canadian and Japanese mesothelioma patients who underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery (EPP), a procedure that involves the removal of a lung, a portion of the diaphragm, and the linings of the lungs and heart, for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), and suggested that PLR might be a good predictor of survival.
The study was published in The Journal of Thoracic Disease under the title “Clinical role of a new prognostic score using platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma undergoing extrapleural pneumonectomy.”
The research team analyzed 85 patients who underwent EPP for malignant pleural mesothelioma over 10 years at Toronto General Hospital. Of these, 65 patients – whose blood test results before therapy were available – were studied in retrospective as a training cohort, to identify and develop a prognostic score. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to assess cutoff values of hematologic parameters for survival.
Then, the prognostic score was validated externally in a group of 32 patients who underwent EPP for malignant pleural mesothelioma in over 13 years at two different healthcare institutes in Japan.
“The new prognostic score using PLR is simple and useful for predicting the prognosis of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma undergoing EPP,” lead researcher Tetsuzo Tagawa from Kyushu University said in a press release. The researchers found that mesothelioma patients with the highest PLR scores had the shortest post-surgical survival.
Mesothelioma is a form of tumor of the lung lining that can affect other organs, including the heart and stomach. This condition usually leads to thickening of the lung tissue and can cause trouble breathing. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of this condition, representing nearly 75 percent of all mesotheliomas diagnosed.
Despite being a rare and aggressive form of cancer, it is typically attributed to asbestos exposure. Only 38 percent of mesothelioma patients reach a one-year survival rate after the diagnosis, meaning that early detection and treatment is crucial to survive this disease, experts say.
According to a previous study, understanding the risk factors for pleural mesothelioma development could significantly help early identification and treatment.
The findings support the idea that a test designed to measure the PLR in patients’ blood could be a good predictor of mesothelioma survival after surgery.
“Radical pleural mesothelioma surgery remains controversial. The hope is that this new scoring system may help make the decision-making process a little easier for both mesothelioma patients and clinicians,” concluded Alex Strauss, managing editor of Surviving Mesothelioma.