PodMed TT – Fluid Accumulation in Lung Cancer Patients

In some people with cancer in their lungs, fluid accumulates around the lung and may result in a range of symptoms, including lung collapse. Such fluid accumulation, called malignant pleural effusion, is one of the topics Rick and I discuss on PodMed TT this week. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine offers hope that the condition can be managed on an outpatient basis. Previously, patients needed to be treated in the hospital using a technique called pleurodesis, where talc is placed into the space where the fluid builds up, causing adjacent tissues to adhere together and eliminating the space for fluid to accumulate. The study looked at 154 patients who already had chest tubes placed to drain the fluid and randomly assigned them to outpatient administration of a talc slurry through the tube, or usual care. Pleurodesis was successful in 43 percent of the talc group, versus 23 percent of the placebo group, and there were no deleterious side effects relative to talc administration with this technique. Rick and I agree that since about 750,000 people in the U.S. and Europe experience malignant pleural effusion each year, this is a welcome outcome indeed.

Other topics this week include Association Between Use of Acid-Suppressive Medications and Antibiotics During Infancy and Allergic Diseases in Early Childhood in JAMA Pediatrics; Association of a Negative Wealth Shock With All-Cause Mortality in Middle-aged and Older Adults in the United States in JAMA; and Clinical Usefulness of Imaging and Blood Cultures in Cellulitis Evaluation in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Until next week, y’all listen up and make healthy choices.