Study Shows Access to Care Often Difficult for Mesothelioma Patients

When it comes to malignant pleural mesothelioma, not everyone is treated equally. A disparity in access to care makes the difference in mesothelioma treatment quite dramatic, according to the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Patients without access to expert multidisciplinary care at high-volume, academic facilities are being inappropriately undertreated for their disease,” medical oncologist Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “The access is not adequate as it should be for everyone.” Rodriguez led a recent study at University of Miami that looked at socioeconomic disparities in access to treatment and survival in patients around the country with potentially operable disease. She presented her work at the 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer earlier this month. “If you look across the country, there’s just not a lot of the very best care, the real expertise that you need for mesothelioma,” she said. “We’re still struggling to provide that access in the U.S.” Rural Areas Have Few Mesothelioma Surgeries University of Miami’s retrospective study involved 2,804 patients with stage I-III disease from the National Cancer Database, between 2004 and 2017, which was mostly prior to the rise in treatment with immunotherapy. The goal of the study was assessing how access to care plays a role in prognosis and the optimization of out...
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