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Understanding Biphasic Mesothelioma
Biphasic mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with biphasic mesothelioma, we want to help provide information about the best treatment options available.
The Cause of Biphasic Mesothelioma
What is Biphasic Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma has two main cell types – epithelioid (a slow-growing type of soft tissue cancer) and sarcomatoid (a more aggressive form of cancer). It is possible to be diagnosed with epithelioid or sarcomatoid mesothelioma exclusively, but mesothelioma also occurs in a mixed cell variety known as biphasic mesothelioma.
Biphasic or mixed mesothelioma is characterized by the presence of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cancer cells within the malignant tumors. The symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of biphasic mesothelioma depend on the ratio of epithelioid vs. sarcomatoid involvement.
Epithelioid vs. Sarcomatoid Dominant Characteristics
- Metastasis (spread) to the nearby surrounding organs
- Symptoms including shortness of breath, night sweats/fever, chest pain, and weight loss
- Longer life expectancy and better response to treatment
- Aggressive metastasis (spread) throughout the entire body
- Symptoms similar to epithelioid dominant mesothelioma with additional complications and pain from wide-spread disease
The Prevalence of Biphasic Mesothelioma
Misdiagnosis of Biphasic Mesothelioma
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy (removal of an entire lung and surrounding tissues)
- Pleurectomy (removal of some of the pleura, the tissue layer surrounding the lungs)
- Pericardiectomy (removal of some or all of the pericardium, the tissue layer surrounding the heart)
The Prognosis for Biphasic Mesothelioma
- Overall general health and diet
- The extent of cancer spread (stage of cancer)
- The number of affected organs
Immunotherapy and Mesothelioma
Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses (its immune system) to fight cancer. In recent years, immunotherapy treatments for mesothelioma have been available through clinical trials and have shown promising results. Many doctors are now using immunotherapy drugs as treatment for mesothelioma.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and would like to learn more about emerging treatments like immunotherapy, our team of mesothelioma advocates can provide more information about immunotherapy or help connect you to clinical trials or physicians.