What is Biphasic Mesothelioma?
Biphasic mesothelioma is a combination of both sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells with each cell composition having at least a 10% composition. The cancer is seen to be more aggressive when sarcomatoid cells have the higher percentage. Biphasic mesothelioma occurrences have increased over the years. From 25 percent in all mesothelioma cases to approximately 46-63% of all cases.
Asbestos is the only proven cause for biphasic mesothelioma. The naturally occurring mineral was traditionally envied for its unique insulating properties. Most traditional fire retardant systems are asbestos based. With the detrimental health effects, however, its use is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Today one may however still get into contact with asbestos occupationally, naturally or second hand. Naturally means via means of naturally occurring asbestos from asbestos deposits or runoff water from the deposit. Secondhand exposure means people in work dealing with asbestos expose people at home from asbestos in their hair, clothes, etc. occupational on the other hand refers to exposure to asbestos when you work in an industry with asbestos materials.
Sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells may appear in separate parts of the tumor close to each other. Their features mainly help evaluate a life expectancy and not your symptoms.
Such cells are rounded and cube-like. Their microvillus appears slender and long and has hair like protrusions in their cell membrane. Such cells tend to grow very fast but spread very slowly.
They are spindle-shaped and often appear in a much-disorganized nature. It is mainly prevalent in pleural patients than peritoneal. The more the sarcomatoid cell percentage, the poorer the prognosis. They spread very fast and thus give a short life expectancy.
It is a mixture of both sarcomatoid and epithelioid cell types.
Biphasic mesothelioma can prove quite challenging to detect. Biphasic cells are however common in patients with colon, renal cell and breast cancers. Doctors collect sample cells via biopsy. For thorough checkouts, they must collect cell samples from different parts of the tumor. The doctors will then apply immunohistochemistry. This entails coating the cells with a dye for improved visibility and ease in identification. From here the doctor will be able to tell if the cancer is an epithelioid or sarcomatoid and recommend a treatment.
Some of the common symptoms linked with biphasic mesothelioma are chest pains. The patients may suffer fluid build ups of pleural effusions and later difficulties in breathing.
Treatment and prognosis
Treatment highly depends on the stage and tumor location than the type of cells in the tumor. Cell types directly help clarify how aggressive cancer could be and thus how aggressive the treatment plan needs to be. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor will then recommend surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. These three are the most common treatments for cancer. Biphasic mesothelioma treatment is quite similar to treatments for epitheloid cancer and sarcomatoid cancer. Due to its shorter post-diagnostic survival, it allows experimental therapies quite appealing.