Mesothelioma Cell Types

Writer : dR. Cristine Lie

Mesothelioma Cell Types, Types of Mesothelioma Cancer Cells

The different types of mesothelioma cells have a direct impact on the treatment options and prognosis for mesothelioma patients.. Epithelioid, biphasic, and sarcomatoid are the three types of mesothelioma cells.

The cell type is one of several factors that a doctor uses to diagnose your specific type of mesothelioma. When a doctor knows the type of mesothelioma that has affected you, he or she can better determine the best treatment and your overall prognosis because of the information provided by cell type.

Mesothelioma Cell Types: What Are They?

Epithelial Mesothelioma Cells

Epithelial cells are the most common type of cell in mesothelioma, accounting for about 90% of cases. A mesothelioma diagnosis comes with a 50-70 percent chance that the tumor is composed of epithelial cells. The prognosis and treatment options are generally good if your mesothelioma is made up of epithelial cells. Mesothelioma of this type is the most curable.

Biphasic Cells

Mesothelioma cancer cells that are biphasic are the second most common type. A mixture of epithelial and sarcomatoid cells make up these cells. If a mesothelioma patient has more epithelial cells in their tumor, their prognosis is better because epithelial cells are treatable. Sarcomatoid cells outnumber epithelial cells, which means the prognosis is worse and the treatment options are limited.

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma Cells

Sarcomoid cells are the rarest type of mesothelioma cancer cells. Because of their propensity to rapidly spread throughout the body, cancer cells of this type have the worst prognosis. Mesothelioma has few treatment options once it spreads throughout the body.

What is Histology?

The type of cells that make up a patient's mesothelioma can be determined by a physician using a branch of biology known as histology. Microscopic examination of mesothelioma cells allows doctors to determine the patient's specific type of mesothelioma cells and, therefore, the best treatment options. As well as identifying mesothelioma cancer cells, histology is employed in the detection of other forms of cancerous cells.

Doctors collect tissue and fluid from suspected sites of mesothelioma tumors. The fluid and tissue samples are typically obtained through a medical procedure known as a biopsy, which is then examined under a microscope.

Many other cancer cells resemble those in mesophageal tumors, making the diagnosis of mesothelioma difficult. The presence of mesothelioma cancer cells in tissue or fluid samples must be confirmed through additional testing. The proteins and antibodies in a patient's blood will be tested by a doctor in order to determine the type of cancer cells that are present.

If a patient has been exposed to asbestos in the past, they must tell their doctor about it, including their previous jobs. Your cancer will not be misdiagnosed as mesothelioma if a doctor knows that you have been exposed to asbestos, and the histology will take this into account.

What is the Cellular Makeup of Mesothelioma?

It's important to know the types of tissues affected by mesothelioma in order to understand its cellular structure. The human body contains four distinct types of tissue:

  • Muscle Tissue
  • Connective Tissue
  • Nervous Tissue
  • Epithelium

In the human body, the epithelium is a type of tissue that serves as a lining for various organs and cavities. They form in the lining and cavities of these structures. Mesothelioma isn't always found in the epithelium; this is just one example. The epithelium is capable of forming a variety of cancers. Epithelial cells are the primary target of most cancers.

It is possible to become infected with asbestos by inhaling or ingesting its fibers. Mesothelium, a type of epithelial tissue, is responsible for keeping organs like the lungs and heart functioning properly. Mesothelioma can develop from cancerous cells that have been exposed to asbestos fibers.

Mesothelioma of the epithelium?

Mesothelioma with this cellular subtype makes up nearly 70% of all cases of the disease. There is a term for this type of mesothelioma called epithelioid because of the occurrence of cancerous epithelial cells. Mesothelial cancer can be difficult, but it is treatable in this form.

Many epithelioid melanoma patients share these common characteristics.

  • Elongated and distinct, the cell's shape is clearly defined.
  • The cells of the epithelium tend to clump together.
  • The prognosis for patients with epithelioid mesothelioma is the best of any subtype of the disease.

Defintion: Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

Severely less than a fifth (less than 15 percent) of all cases of asbestos-related cancer are classified as sarcomatoid. Patients with mesothelioma who have sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancer cells have a poor prognosis, as these cells spread rapidly throughout the body.


  • The cellular structure is asymmetrical.
  • Overlapping cells are seen in this image
  • In a short period of time, the cancer has spread throughout the body.
  • This type of cancer has a very poor prognosis for those who are diagnosed with it.

Is there a specific type of Mesothelioma?

The term "biphasic mesothelioma" refers to mesothelioma that contains both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cell types. The biphasic mesothelioma's response will be determined by the amount of epithelioid or sarcomatoid cells present. Tumors that have more epithelioid cells tend to metastasize more quickly in one area of the body and are less likely to spread. The tumor will spread more quickly if there are more sarcomatoid cells in the tumor. The prognosis and characteristics of biphasic mesothelioma really depend on the ratio of epithelioid cells to sarcomatoid cells. Those who have biphasic mesothelioma and the tumor is primarily made up of epithelioid cells have a very good prognosis.

Read more:

Mesothelioma Cancer