Transitional Mesothelioma: A Rare Finding

Transitional mesothelioma is an extremely rare subtype of mesothelioma that accounts for less than 1% of all mesothelioma diagnoses. This subtype is often difficult to diagnose and treat due to its similarities with other types of cancer.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. This cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was used for its fire-resistant properties in various industries.

What is Transitional Mesothelioma?

Transitional mesothelioma is a subtype of mesothelioma that is characterized by the presence of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells. Epithelioid cells are the most common in mesothelioma, and they typically grow in clusters that resemble glands. Sarcomatoid cells, on the other hand, are spindle-shaped and can grow in a haphazard pattern.

Symptoms of Transitional Mesothelioma

The symptoms of transitional mesothelioma are similar to those of other types of mesothelioma, including:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue

However, due to the rarity of this subtype, diagnosis can be difficult and may require specialized testing.

Treatment for Transitional Mesothelioma

Treatment for transitional mesothelioma typically includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. However, due to the aggressive nature of this subtype, it can often be difficult to treat.

Research into new treatments for transitional mesothelioma is ongoing, and clinical trials are currently underway to test the effectiveness of novel therapies.

Diagnosis of Transitional Mesothelioma

Diagnosis of transitional mesothelioma often involves a biopsy of the affected tissue. This biopsy can be performed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Pleural biopsy
  • Peritoneal biopsy
  • Pericardial biopsy

Once a diagnosis of transitional mesothelioma has been confirmed, additional testing may be required to determine the stage of the cancer and the best treatment options.

Prognosis for Transitional Mesothelioma

The prognosis for transitional mesothelioma is generally poor, with a median survival time of less than one year. However, with early detection and aggressive treatment, some patients may be able to achieve long-term survival.

Preventing Mesothelioma

The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to avoid exposure to asbestos. Individuals who work in industries that use or produce asbestos should take appropriate precautions to minimize their exposure, including wearing protective clothing and equipment and following proper safety protocols.


Transitional mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of mesothelioma that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. However, with ongoing research and new treatment options, there is hope for improving the prognosis for individuals diagnosed with this rare subtype.