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Intern Med J. 2013 Apr;43(4):402-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2012.02925.x.

Patterns of care for malignant pleural mesothelioma patients compensated by the Dust Diseases Board in New South Wales, Australia.

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1
Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The silent epidemic of mesothelioma in Australia is steadily increasing, and 30% of cases occur in New South Wales (NSW).

AIM:

To describe the patterns of care and outcomes of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) in NSW.

METHODS:

MPM patients in NSW applying for compensation at the NSW Dust Diseases Board from 2007 to 2009 were included. Survival from time of diagnosis was determined by the Kaplan-Meier method. The Chi-squared test was used to determine if there was an association between utilisation of treatment and geographical location.

RESULTS:

A total of 138 patients was included: median age was 72.5; 91.3% male; 60.1% epithelial subtype; and 65.2% lived in major cities. All patients had at least one chest X-ray and computed tomography scan, and 21% had a positron emission tomography scan; 93.5% and 4.3% had histological or cytological confirmation respectively. Thoracoscopy (59.4%) was the most commonly used diagnostic procedure. Treatment utilisation: 53.6% chemotherapy; 35.5% radiotherapy; 9.4% extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP); and 72.5% had palliative care involvement. There were no major differences in treatment utilisation between patients living in major cities and those in regional NSW (chemotherapy P = 0.42; radiotherapy P = 0.13 and palliative care P = 0.60), except for a higher rate of EPP in regional patients (16.7% vs 5.6%; P = 0.03). Median survival was 9.7 versus 12.3 months for city and regional patients respectively (P = 0.22).

CONCLUSION:

Survival and treatment utilisation was not significantly different between MPM patients living in major cities and regional NSW, except for a higher rate of EPP in patients in regional NSW.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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