Biphasic Mesothelioma Cancer
Continued from: Mesothelioma Cancer Cells
Biphasic mesothelioma cancer cases have seen an increase in occurrence over the years. Whereas biphasic cancer was once seen in approximately 25 percent of all mesothelioma cases, it has recently appeared in approximately 46 percent to 63 percent of all cases.
Biphasic mesothelioma cancer differs from epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancer in that it does not have a unique cellular structure; rather, biphasic mesothelioma cancer is a combination of epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancer subtypes. Epithelioid mesothelioma cancer cells are typically cube shaped, but columnar and flattened cellular types are occasionally seen too. Sarcomatoid, or fibrous, mesothelioma cancer cells are spindle-shaped or oval. Because biphasic mesothelioma cancer patients have two very different mesothelioma cell types associated with their disease, it can be an easier form of cancer to diagnose than either sarcomatoid or epithelioid (two cellular types that can be confused with a variety of other cancers).
Biphasic mesothelioma cancer typically produces a combination of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cancer cells as opposed to a mixture, meaning that the two subtypes occur in different parts of the tumor. In this sense, classifying a case of mesothelioma as biphasic is simply stating that the patient has both epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancer. When epithelioid and sarcomatoid cancer cells are separated throughout various parts of the tumor, it can lead to a misdiagnosis of the mesothelioma's subtype.
Histopathological examination of a section of the tumor (examination of the tissue) may uncover only epithelioid or only sarcomatoid cancer cells. By taking multiple sections of diseased tissue for examination, histopathologists are more likely to be able to identify a case of biphasic mesothelioma cancer. (Histopathological advancements could be one possible explanation for the rise in biphasic mesothelioma cancer cases.) Misdiagnosis of a mesothelioma subtype is not a problem because there is no difference in treatment between the three.
Treatment options available for biphasic mesothelioma cancer, sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancer and epithelioid mesothelioma cancer are the same. However, the typical mesothelioma prognosis associated with each mesothelioma subtype is different, as is the average survival time. The mean survival time of biphasic mesothelioma cancer patients (six months) is the lowest of the three.
Although the methods of treating biphasic mesothelioma cancer do not differ from those of treating epithelioid cancer or sarcomatoid cancer, the shorter average post-diagnostic survival time of biphasic mesothelioma cancer patients makes radical or more experimental treatments a more appealing option than standard treatment modalities.
[Page updated February 2008]