Epithelioid Mesothelioma

Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common of three mesothelioma cell types that develop after asbestos exposure. While it’s aggressive, epithelioid mesothelioma is more easily treated than other cell types, so patients often have a better health outlook. Work with Lung Cancer Group for help finding and affording epithelioid mesothelioma treatments, if eligible.

Free Case Review

What Is Epithelioid Mesothelioma?

Malignant epithelioid mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops when epithelial cells, which line the body’s organs and cavities, become cancerous due to asbestos exposure. It’s also known as epithelial mesothelioma.

“Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common cell type, and it’s the most treatable.”

— Lauren Ryder, Lung Cancer Group patient advocate

This type of mesothelioma can develop in the lining of the lungs (pleura), abdomen (peritoneum), heart (pericardium), or testicles (tunica vaginalis).

Patients with this mesothelioma cell type have a better chance of living longer compared to those with the other types (sarcomatoid and biphasic), since epithelioid cells generally respond better to treatment.

Epithelioid Malignant Mesothelioma Quick Facts

  • It is the most prevalent mesothelioma cell type, accounting for around 70% of cases, according to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
  • Epithelioid mesothelioma cells look like ovals or rectangles under a microscope.
  • Epithelial cells divide quickly but stick together. As a result, tumors don’t spread as fast as those of the other cell types and are easier to treat.
  • The average life expectancy for epithelial mesothelioma is 14 months, but some patients can live for 15 years or more with treatment.

Lung Cancer Group is here to help anyone with asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer or mesothelioma. Connect with our registered nurses to find top doctors and treatments for epithelioid mesothelioma near you.

Speak With a Mesothelioma Nurse
  • Find Top Doctors and Treatments
  • Connect You With Clinical Trials
  • Answer Medical Questions
Talk with Amy

Amy Fair
20+ Years Helping
Mesothelioma Patients

What Is the Cause of Epithelioid Mesothelioma?

The only known cause of epithelioid mesothelioma (and any other type of this cancer) is exposure to asbestos.

When microscopic asbestos fibers are breathed in or swallowed, they can get trapped inside the body and harm healthy tissues. Over time, this leads to irritation and inflammation, causing healthy epithelial cells to mutate into mesothelioma cells.

Those at the highest risk of epithelial mesothelioma worked with or around asbestos-containing products daily, like construction workers or those serving in the U.S. military.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Symptoms

Common mesothelioma epithelioid symptoms include chest or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and fluid buildup. Which symptoms you’ll develop depends on where the cancer forms.

Here are malignant epithelial mesothelioma symptoms by type.

Pleural epithelioid mesotheliomaPeritoneal epithelioid mesothelioma
Chest painAbdominal pain
FatigueAscites (fluid buildup around abdomen)
Persistent coughingChanges in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
Pleural effusion (fluid buildup around lungs)Loss of appetite and weight loss
Shortness of breath (dyspnea)Nausea
Unexplained weight lossSwelling or bloating

These symptoms often appear 10-50 years after being exposed to asbestos and can be mistaken for less severe illnesses at first.

If you have a history of asbestos exposure and experience any epithelial mesothelioma symptoms, promptly consult a health care professional.

Call (877) 446-5767 for help finding doctors if you have symptoms of epithelioid mesothelioma.

How to Diagnose Epithelioid Mesothelioma

A mesothelioma specialist will perform various steps to diagnose epithelial malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma epithelioid diagnosis steps include:

  • Physical examination: A doctor will review your medical history, ask about potential risk factors like asbestos exposure, and conduct a physical exam to assess symptoms.
  • Blood tests: These can be used to check for biomarkers, which are substances in the blood that could indicate you have epithelioid mesothelioma.
  • Imaging tests: X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and other imaging tests can be used to identify any possible mesothelioma tumors.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is the only definitive way to diagnose mesothelioma. During a biopsy, a sample of tissue or fluid is collected and examined under a microscope by a pathologist to determine the presence of cancer cells.

Once doctors confirm your epithelioid mesothelioma diagnosis, they can recommend treatments to improve your survival time.

Connect with our nurses to find top doctors who can help determine if you have epithelial mesothelioma.

Speak With a Mesothelioma Nurse
  • Find Top Doctors and Treatments
  • Connect You With Clinical Trials
  • Answer Medical Questions
Talk with Amy

Amy Fair
20+ Years Helping
Mesothelioma Patients

Confirming an Epithelioid Mesothelioma Diagnosis With Immunohistochemistry

Immunohistochemistry, a specialized lab technique, can determine what cell type is present if it’s hard to tell on a biopsy.

With this test, pathologists use antibodies to stain tissue samples to look for proteins like calretinin or cytokeratin, that are more prevalent in cases of epithelioid mesothelioma.

They can also look for immunohistochemical markers of lung adenocarcinoma, such as Claudin 4, CEA, and MOC31, to rule out epithelioid mesothelioma.

Prognosis for Epithelioid Mesothelioma

Epithelioid mesothelioma generally carries a more favorable prognosis (health outlook) compared to other cell types.

Mesothelioma prognosis is measured using two metrics: life expectancy and survival rate.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Patients with epithelioid mesothelioma typically have a median life expectancy of 14 months. However, each case is unique. How long you’ll live depends on your treatment options, tumor stage, and overall health.

It’s possible to live for many years with epithelioid mesothelioma — especially if you get treated before the cancer has spread.

Call (877) 446-5767 now for help finding top treatments for epithelioid mesothelioma that may help improve your survival time.

Epithelial Mesothelioma Survival Rate

A survival rate measures the percentage of people still alive a certain amount of time after a diagnosis.

Here are the epithelioid mesothelioma survival rates with surgery:

  • 2-year survival rate: 45%
  • 5-year survival rate: 14%

You have a better chance of outliving your mesothelioma survival rate if you’re diagnosed and treated before the cancer spreads.

Subtypes of Epithelial Mesothelioma Cells

Several rare subtypes of epithelioid mesothelioma exist. Doctors must use great care to distinguish these subtypes, as they can significantly affect your overall prognosis (health outlook).

Epithelioid mesothelioma subtypes include:

  • Adenomatoid mesothelioma: Accounting for around 5% of pleural mesothelioma cases, this type is often mistaken for benign (noncancerous) adenomatoid cells, according to a 2022 report published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. Its cells develop in a lace-like pattern.
  • Cystic mesothelioma: Normally found in women with peritoneal mesothelioma, this epithelioid subtype is benign. Doctors need to use immunohistochemical staining to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Deciduoid mesothelioma: This accounts for fewer than 5% of mesothelioma cases. Like cystic mesothelioma, it’s more common in cases of peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients have a poor prognosis, with a 1-year mortality (death) rate of 68%.
  • Lymphohistiocytoid mesothelioma: This subtype makes up between 1% and 3.3% of mesothelioma cases. Patients typically live for up to 18 months with this cell type. Doctors must make sure to correctly distinguish it from other cancers, like various types of lymphoma.
  • Small cell mesothelioma: Cases of small cell mesothelioma look similar to small cell lung cancer when viewed under a microscope. Its overall prognosis is poor, with patients living just over 8 months, according to a 2020 Translational Lung Cancer Research report.
  • Solid mesothelioma: These mesothelioma cells grow in nests or sheets. This subtype has a more favorable prognosis than many of the others. The average survival time is just under 2 years, as noted by a Histopathology study published in 2020.
  • Tubulopapillary mesothelioma: These cells are shaped like cubes that arrange themselves near cones of connective tissues. The Histopathology study mentioned above found that patients with this subtype live for 1 year on average.
  • Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma: This subtype is more common in cases of peritoneal and testicular mesothelioma. Many cases are benign with some being cancerous.

Doctors will make sure to properly determine your epithelioid mesothelioma cancer subtype and develop a treatment plan that best suits your case.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Stages

There are four stages of epithelial pleural mesothelioma, and they correspond to how far the cancer has spread. Your mesothelioma stage plays a significant role in your overall prognosis and which treatments you receive.

The stages of epithelioid pleural mesothelioma include:

  • Stage 1 epithelial mesothelioma: Found just in the lung lining and possibly the lung. Patients have the best prognosis of any type, especially if they undergo surgery.
  • Stage 2 epithelial mesothelioma: Epithelioid mesothelioma tumors have started to spread further into the lung lining, lung, and nearby organs, but surgery is still possible.
  • Stage 3 epithelial mesothelioma: The cancer has spread further into areas in and around the chest. It may or may not be possible to remove tumors with surgery.
  • Stage 4 epithelial mesothelioma: The most advanced stage, with cancer tumors having spread to one or more distant organs outside of the chest, like the brain. Patients have the worst prognosis, and surgery isn’t possible, but other treatments may help.

The other types of epithelioid mesothelioma don’t have formal stages. Doctors can informally stage patients with either “localized” or “advanced” cancer when making a diagnosis.

Speak with our mesothelioma nurses for help finding epithelioid mesothelioma treatments, no matter which stage you’re in.

Speak With a Mesothelioma Nurse
  • Find Top Doctors and Treatments
  • Connect You With Clinical Trials
  • Answer Medical Questions
Talk with Amy

Amy Fair
20+ Years Helping
Mesothelioma Patients

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Treatment

Epithelioid mesothelioma is the easiest of all three cell types to treat. Doctors may be able to use surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy to help patients live longer.

“If it’s a case of epithelioid mesothelioma, it’s treated better, for lack of a better word.”

— Amy Fair, RN, 20+ years helping mesothelioma patients

Learn how different mesothelioma treatments can help epithelial patients like you below.

Surgery for Epithelioid Mesothelioma

There are three main surgical options for epithelial mesothelioma cancer:

  • Cytoreduction with HIPEC: Used to treat malignant epithelial peritoneal mesothelioma by surgically removing tumors and then applying heated chemotherapy. Patients had a 5-year survival rate of 42% and an average life expectancy of 38.4 months in a 2022 report.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): This surgery removes the pleura, the lung nearest to the cancer, and epithelial pleural mesothelioma tumors. Patients had a median survival of 24 months when treated with an EPP, according to a 2022 Translational Lung Cancer Research report.
  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D): Also used for epithelioid pleural mesothelioma, this surgery removes cancer tumors and the pleura but keeps both lungs intact. The median life expectancy for these patients was 38.1 months in the Translational Lung Cancer Research study.

Mesothelioma surgery is typically recommended for patients whose cancer is still in an early stage, as it allows doctors to remove all visible tumors.

Mesothelioma Epithelioid Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is medication that kills cancer cells or slows their growth. Chemotherapy is usually used alongside other treatments for best results. It may be a patient’s main treatment if surgery isn’t possible.

Pleural epithelial mesothelioma patients who received only chemotherapy lived for 15.8 months on average in a 2022 Translational Lung Cancer Research report.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy enhances the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.

Two immunotherapy drugs — nivolumab (Opdivo®) and ipilimumab (Yervoy®) — helped epithelioid pleural mesothelioma patients live for over 18 months in the breakthrough CheckMate 743 study. This was 2 months longer than patients who received chemotherapy.

Radiation Therapy for Epithelioid Mesothelioma

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells.

Pleural epithelial mesothelioma patients who received radiation had a median life expectancy of a little over 1 year, in a 2023 analysis of National Cancer Database statistics. Patients may live even longer when radiation is used with other treatments like surgery and chemotherapy.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma Multimodal Therapy

Doctors can combine surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or immunotherapy into a multimodal plan to destroy as much of the cancer as possible.

Pleural epithelioid mesothelioma patients who received an EPP, chemotherapy, and radiation lived for nearly 27 months on average, according to a 2022 Translational Lung Cancer Research report.

In addition, the Cureus Journal of Medical Science noted that an epithelial peritoneal mesothelioma patient achieved complete remission (where all signs of cancer disappeared) thanks to chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

Speak to a registered mesothelioma nurse now to find the best epithelial mesothelioma treatments for your case.

Speak With a Mesothelioma Nurse
  • Find Top Doctors and Treatments
  • Connect You With Clinical Trials
  • Answer Medical Questions
Talk with Amy

Amy Fair
20+ Years Helping
Mesothelioma Patients

New and Emerging Treatments

Researchers are studying new treatments for epithelioid mesothelioma in clinical trials.

Emerging therapies for epithelioid mesothelioma include:

  • Gene therapy: Adding genes to mesothelioma cells so they’re easier to destroy
  • Photodynamic therapy: Using drugs activated by a light source to kill mesothelioma cells
  • Targeted therapy: Providing treatments that kill cancer cells without harming healthy ones

All of these show potential in improving outcomes for epithelioid mesothelioma patients.

Palliative Treatments

Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life for epithelioid mesothelioma patients.

Palliative treatments like pain management, fluid drainage, and supportive therapies can ease discomfort and improve overall well-being for those with epithelioid mesothelioma.

Compensation Options for Epithelioid Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma, you may qualify for compensation to cover expenses and find peace of mind.

There are three main sources of mesothelioma compensation:

  1. Mesothelioma lawsuits: You may be able to seek compensation from manufacturers of asbestos-containing products by filing a lawsuit. These lawsuits typically reach settlements worth $1 million or more, allowing you to avoid the hassle of an in-court trial.
  2. Asbestos trust funds: Many asbestos companies have established trust funds to compensate victims and avoid lawsuits. There’s $30 billion available in trusts right now.
  3. Veterans benefits: Veterans with mesothelioma may be eligible for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits include monthly disability compensation and free or inexpensive medical care.

A mesothelioma attorney can help you access all compensation options that you qualify for.

Contact us now to see if you’re eligible for epithelioid mesothelioma compensation. Many other patients have started to get their first payouts in 90 days or less when working with our legal partners.

Find Help for an Epithelioid Mesothelioma Diagnosis

You don’t have to face epithelioid mesothelioma alone. Lung Cancer Group can help anyone with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related diseases get the resources they need.

If you qualify, our team can help you seek:

  • The best epithelial mesothelioma treatments and doctors near you
  • Compensation to cover expenses
  • Justice and peace of mind by holding negligent companies accountable

Call (877) 446-5767 or connect with our mesothelioma nurses right now. We’re ready to assist you in any way we can.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma FAQs

What is the life expectancy of someone with mesothelioma?

The average life expectancy of someone with epithelioid mesothelioma is 14 months, but you may live longer depending on your treatment plan.

For example, many epithelioid mesothelioma patients can live for 2-3 years or more by getting surgeries to remove cancerous tumors.

Epithelioid mesothelioma life expectancy depends on your:

  • Available treatment options
  • Overall health
  • Stage at the time of diagnosis

Patients with epithelioid mesothelioma often have a longer average life expectancy compared to the other cell types. A mesothelioma doctor can give you a better idea of your specific life expectancy.

Currently, there is no known cure for epithelioid mesothelioma or any other type of this cancer.

However, treatment options like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy can help you or a loved one live longer and ease symptoms.

In rare cases, it may be possible to live for 15 years or more with mesothelioma, depending on how the body responds to treatments.

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma and epithelioid mesothelioma are two cell types of this cancer.

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is much rarer than epithelioid, making up only around 10-20% of all cases, according to the American Cancer Society. It also responds poorly to treatments since its spindle-shaped cells make it easier for the cancer to spread through the body.

Epithelioid mesothelioma accounts for 70% of mesothelioma cases. Its cube- and oval-shaped cells stick together, so it’s less prone to spreading. This means patients may have more treatment options.

There are four stages of epithelial pleural mesothelioma, with stage 1 being the least advanced and stage 4 indicating the cancer is metastatic (reaching many other parts of the body).

Staging helps determine the most appropriate treatment approach and prognosis for epithelioid mesothelioma patients.

While stage 1 is the easiest to treat and has the best prognosis, you may be able to live a long time with any stage depending on your treatment plan.

Lung Cancer Group was established by a team of caring advocates so those with lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases can get the help they deserve. Our site provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about lung cancer, its link to asbestos, and financial compensation available to patients. Contact us to learn more and get assistance.

  1. Acs, M., et al. (2022, June 23). Ten-year single-center experience with treatment of primary diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM) by cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35732846/
  2. American Cancer Society. (2019, May 28). Treatment of Mesothelioma Based on the Extent of the Cancer. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/malignant-mesothelioma/treating/by-extent.html
  3. Bilecz, A., et al. (2020, March 14). Comparative analysis of prognostic histopathologic parameters in subtypes of epithelioid pleural mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/his.14105
  4. Bou-Samra, P. (2023, April 16). Epidemiological, therapeutic, and survival trends in malignant pleural mesothelioma: A review of the National Cancer Database. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cam4.5915
  5. Brcic, L., et al. (June 2020). Clinical significance of histologic subtyping of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7354152/
  6. Bristol Myers Squibb. (2020, August 8). Opdivo® (nivolumab) Plus Yervoy® (ipilimumab) Demonstrates Durable Survival Benefit vs. Chemotherapy in Patients with Previously Untreated Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://news.bms.com/news/details/2020/Opdivo-nivolumab-Plus-Yervoy-ipilimumab-Demonstrates-Durable-Survival-Benefit-vs.-Chemotherapy-in-Patients-with-Previously-Untreated-Malignant-Pleural-Mesothelioma/default.aspx
  7. Cedres, S., et al. (2023, December 10). Current State-of-the-Art Therapy for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma and Future Options Centered on Immunotherapy. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10741743/
  8. Chapel, B., et al. (February 2020). Application of immunohistochemistry in diagnosis and management of malignant mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7082260/
  9. Kawabe, K., et al. (2022, May 30). Adenomatoid mesothelioma arising from the diaphragm: a case report and review of the literature. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://jmedicalcasereports.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13256-022-03420-9
  10. Klotz, L., et al. (November 2022). Multimodal therapy of epithelioid pleural mesothelioma: improved survival by changing the surgical treatment approach. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9742626/
  11. Kottangal, G., et al. (May 2022). Pleural malignant deciduoid mesothelioma: Case report of a rare variant of epithelioid mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gittwa-Vatsaraj-Kottangal/publication/360743979_Pleural_malignant_deciduoid_mesothelioma_Case_report_of_a_rare_variant_of_epithelioid_mesothelioma/links/628e4d2255273755ebb51232/Pleural-malignant-deciduoid-mesothelioma-Case-report-of-a-rare-variant-of-epithelioid-mesothelioma.pdf
  12. Li, C., et al. (2022, March 29). Treatment of Patients with Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8999919/
  13. Matsubara, T., et al. (December 2017). A Case of the Resected Lymphohistiocytoid Mesothelioma: BAP1 Is a Key of Accurate Diagnosis. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/37/12/6937
  14. Mayo Clinic. (2024). Mesothelioma Clinical Trials. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.mayo.edu/research/clinical-trials/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/
  15. Menezes, M., et al. (2024, January 22). A Complete Response to Pembrolizumab in Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma: A Case Report. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.cureus.com/articles/221698-a-complete-response-to-pembrolizumab-in-malignant-peritoneal-mesothelioma-a-case-report
  16. Moffitt Cancer Center. (2024). Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://moffitt.org/cancers/mesothelioma/diagnosis/types/sarcomatoid-mesothelioma/
  17. Noiret, B., et al. (2019, September 25). Multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma: a systematic review of the literature. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6812218/
  18. Nowak, A., et al. (2021, September 7). Management of Advanced Pleural Mesothelioma—At the Crossroads. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/OP.21.00426
  19. Penn Medicine Abramson Cancer Center. (2024). Mesothelioma Prognosis. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.pennmedicine.org/cancer/types-of-cancer/mesothelioma/prognosis
  20. Rao, N., et al. (2022, February 28). Mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9063505/
  21. Rossini, M. (2018, April 2). New Perspectives on Diagnosis and Therapy of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/oncology/articles/10.3389/fonc.2018.00091/full
  22. Stevers, M., et al. (2018, August 31). Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma of the peritoneum is genetically defined by mutually exclusive mutations in TRAF7 and CDC42. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6309365/
  23. Taylor, L., et al. (2019, July 8). Malignant deciduoid mesothelioma: a rare variant of epithelioid mesothelioma. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6615802/
  24. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. (2024). Mesothelioma Types, Risks, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Retrieved June 12, 2024, from https://hillman.upmc.com/cancer-care/lung/types/mesothelioma
Free Case Review

Get Financial Compensation for Lung Cancer

  • Afford medical expenses and any other bills
  • Find peace of mind for you and your family
  • Get justice from the companies that harmed you

Call (877) 446-5767 or fill out the form to connect with our team and pursue financial compensation after a lung cancer diagnosis.

Start a Free Case Review

Secure Submission

Call us at (877) 446-5767 Talk to us via Live Chat