|A potential tool to diagnosis and treatment mesothelioma has been reported.|
For the first time, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have shown the predictive power of a group of overlooked lymph nodes--known as the posterior intercostal lymph nodes--that could serve as a better tool to stage and ultimately treat patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Physicians look to lymph nodes to stage essentially all cancers, including mesothelioma. The presence or absence of metastatic cancer cells in lymph nodes affects prognosis and also typically dictates the optimal treatment strategy. But posterior intercostal lymph nodes, which are located between the ribs near the spine, have not been previously used to stage or guide treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma or any other cancer.
In a retrospective study of 48 Penn Medicine patients undergoing radical pleurectomy for malignant pleural mesothelioma, Joseph S. Friedberg, MD, Chief of the Section of Thoracic Surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Co-Director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program, and colleagues found that over half the patients had cancer metastatic to these lymph nodes and that, in some of these patients, those were the only lymph nodes containing metastatic cancer.
Patients who did not have cancer in the posterior intercostal lymph nodes had...
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