Epithelioid Mesothelioma

This type of cell is going to be related to roughly 70% of cancer cases when you look at mesothelioma. It is also very important to know that this is the most treatable.

What is Epithelioid Mesothelioma?

Epithelial cells in the body are very common and they are also healthy. They become dangerous when they mutate themselves into deadly epithelioid mesothelioma cells after being exposed to asbestos. Individuals with epithelioid mesothelioma have a better prognosis and more treatment options available to them vs. those that have sarcomatoid or biphasic cell types.


icons Cell Prevelence

Cell Prevalence – Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common cell type and it also has the best prognosis. You will find that it is the most common with men that are white and older than 45 years of age.

icons Cell Description

Cell Description – These cell types have a defined elongated egg-shape to them. The visible nuclei make this cell the easiest type to distinguish.

icons Cell Behavior

Cell Behavior – A tumor with these cells will grow much faster because they are going to divide very fast. They stick to each other which means it doesn’t spread as fast.


These cells account for roughly 70% of the pleural mesothelioma diagnoses and they can also be found in peritoneal diagnoses as well.

Some of the symptoms that you may experience with epithelioid mesothelioma include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in your chest
  • Build up of fluid

Cells may be found through radiology or even with pathology. When cells are found the doctor may ask about the patient’s exposure to asbestos. They may even take a biopsy.

If the biopsy shows that there are cancer cells the doctor may use immunohistochemistry. This will be carried out in order to search for proteins that are used as markers for different types of cancer. This will also help to ensure that the diagnosis is accurate.


There are a number of epithelioid mesothelioma subtypes. They are going to have variations related to their sizes, shapes, and even their structure. Each subtype may respond differently to different types of treatment.

  • Adenoid – Adenoid epithelioid cells are found in all types of mesothelioma. Because it does look like other tumors it can be hard to diagnosis a patient accurately.
  • Small Cell – Small cell mesothelioma has its own shape. You will see that it is the most common when you look at peritoneal mesothelioma. It will be the most difficult to treat.
  • Cystic – Cystic mesothelioma will be the rarest. It is found in peritoneal mesothelioma. More women will be affected by this than men.
  • Papillary – Papillary mesothelioma is not going to be very aggressive but it is rare and may not be seen that often. It will be seen in the peritoneum.
  • Deciduoid – Deciduoid mesothelioma will be a rare cell when it is found in pleural mesothelioma. It is actually more common when found in peritoneal, and it will be found in roughly 50% of cases.


When epithelioid mesothelioma is treated you may undergo the same treatment that you would with other types of mesothelioma. The good news is that this treatment will be a lot more effective than treatment used with other types of mesothelioma cancer.

There are a number of patients that are able to receive extrapleural pneumonectomy and it has been found to increase your life expectancy. You may be able to go through with pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) if the cancer has not made its way to the lung.

If you have epithelioid peritoneal mesothelioma then you might want to think about cytoreductive surgery. There are no stages with peritoneal mesothelioma. Therefore, it is always best to work with a specialist and get a second opinion.

Other treatment options such as chemotherapy and even radiation may be used. Alternative treatment like gene therapy or even intensity modulated radiation have been found to be effective.


Icon prognosis
Cell type is a very important factor that can have a huge impact on a patient’s mesothelioma prognosis. Those with epithelioid mesothelioma have a better prognosis that those with biphasic or sarcomatoid cell types.

There was a study that showed that roughly 60% of those patients that have been diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma, and treated for it, lived for at least one year after they started their treatment. Approximately 25% were found to live for more than 5 years. 

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