What Is Biphasic Mesothelioma?
Biphasic mesothelioma is a type of mesothelioma that is made up of two cell types. It is the second most common cell type for malignant mesothelioma.
The most common type of mesothelioma is epithelial mesothelioma. The least common type is sarcomatoid mesothelioma. In between is a mixture of the two types, called biphasic mesothelioma.
The main difference between these two mesothelioma cell types is the shape of the cells under the microscope.
Biphasic mesothelioma cancers contain round cells characteristic of epithelial mesothelioma, which do spread as quickly throughout the body.
However, the biphasic cell type also has sarcomatoid cells, which look like long narrow spindles. Because of their shape, they do not stay together as well and tend to move more throughout the body, causing the biphasic malignant mesothelioma to spread more rapidly.
Biphasic mesothelioma treatment can vary depending on the stage of the mesothelioma, as well as the relative proportion of these cells. Patients with a higher percentage of epithelial cells than sarcomatoid cells respond better to treatment.
Quick Facts About Biphasic Mesothelioma
- Biphasic mesothelioma is not a distinct cell type, but a mixture of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cell types.
- According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 20%-30% of mesothelioma cases are biphasic.
- Roughly 20% of biphasic mesothelioma patients live at least 5 years after diagnosis.
- The higher the ratio of epithelioid to sarcomatoid cells, the better a biphasic mesothelioma patient’s outlook is.