At present, the only way doctors can confirm a patient of mesothelioma diagnosis is by determining the cell type of mesothelioma. A sample of tissue is taken by use of biopsy and studied under a microscope by a pathologist in a process referred to as histology to help determine the type of cells that are involved in the tumor. 1,2,3,5
Being the most common type of cell, it accounts for about 75 percent of the cases. With epithelioid cells, they appear uniform in their shape. They have an elongated pattern making them easy to differentiate them from the other mesothelioma cell types when examined under high magnification. The epithelioid cancer cells are regarded as adenocarcinomas meaning they affect organs and the malignancies are found in the lungs. Of any cell types associated with mesothelioma, epithelioid have the best prognosis.
This type of mesothelioma accounts for about 10 percent of the cases. The sarcomatoid cells grow out of muscles and bones (supportive structures). The cells take the form of long, spindle appearance and are arranged haphazardly. Of the cell types involved in mesothelioma, sarcomatoid tends to have the worst prognosis, and the cancer is the most difficult to treat of the mesotheliomas.
When you talk of biphasic mesothelioma, it involves a mix of sarcomatoid and epithelial cells. About 40 percent of mesothelioma cases are biphasic. An important thing to understand is that although you will have both types of cells existing in biphasic mesothelioma, they are usually differentiated. Epithelioid cells are within a different area from sarcomatoid cells.
- Types of Mesothelioma. https://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/types/
- Different Types of Mesothelioma Cancer. https://www.mesotheliomatreatmentcenters.org/mesothelioma-cancer/types-of-mesothelioma/
- Mesothelioma incidence in 50 states and the District of Columbia, United States, 2003–2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406225/