But a new study has found that aspiration, biopsy or thoracoscopy can inadvertently spread malignant cells into the other parts of the chest wall such as the intercostal muscle. Pleural mesothelioma can metastasize because the needle or instrument being used can seed other parts of body with malignant cells that contribute to the creation of more nodules.
In some cases, malignant spread was detected even beyond the chest wall tract and in the peritoneum. Researchers examined 14 patients who had pleural mesothelioma who underwent chest wall testing to confirm diagnosis. Seven of them had a portion of the affected lung removed. Two of the seven were eventually found to have metastasis to other parts of the chest wall.
Pleural mesothelioma spread can be mitigated through preventive radiation if the patient can tolerate it or a resection of the chest wall during extrapleural removal of a lung portion.