Mesothelioma Treatment


The most common treatment for mesothelioma involves a combination of surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. Supportive treatments can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life in many mesothelioma patients. Mesothelioma treatment improves year by year and patients live longer. Patients can turn to traditional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation, as well as clinical trials. What can lead to a cure in the future.

The treatment helps people to live longer with a malignant mesothelioma. Although a curative treatment outcome is rare, a treatment approach called multimodal therapy can help certain patients to suffer from cancer for years. Multimodal therapy combines treatments to kill cancer cells in a number of ways. Experts consider it the best treatment for mesothelioma.

Although there is currently no cure, mesothelioma patients can usually improve their prognosis through some form of treatment. Even in cases where it is not possible to improve lifespan, palliative care and alternative therapies in many people with mesothelioma help relieve pain and discomfort.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Standard Mesothelioma Treatments

Patients with mesothelioma have various treatment options available, from surgery to chemotherapy. These treatment options are not normally considered a cure for mesothelioma patients. Although patients have achieved remission in certain cases. These are usually situations where the disease was caught at the earliest stage and aggressively treated by a specialist. Important considerations in determining a mesothelioma treatment plan include the cancer stage, the primary site involved, and the cell type.

The treatment options also depend on whether the cancer is located in the chest area or has spread to the chest wall or the diaphragm. The lymph nodes as well as your age and overall health. The three standard therapies used to treat mesotheliomas include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.


Patients whose mesothelioma has not spread too far may be eligible for surgical treatment. This is the best way to remove large parts of the affected tissue. In patients with early diagnosis of mesothelioma, all or most of the tumor may be surgically removed. Depending on the location of the tumor, surgery may involve removal of the mesothelial layer. The one or more lymph nodes or part or all of a lung or other organ.


Chemotherapeutics work by attacking fast-growing cells such as cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often used in conjunction with surgery and can kill any remaining mesothelioma cells. That the surgeon could not physically move. Chemotherapy is the usual way to kill cancer cells in the body. Mesothelioma requires certain chemotherapy solutions to be effective.


Medicines that activate the immune system for targeting and killing mesothelioma cells are referred to as immune therapy treatments. This type of treatment is becoming more common.

Radiation therapy

It is not invasive and beneficial for all stages and types of mesothelioma. It can be used before and after surgery to shrink tumors and kill remaining cancer cells in a specific area of the body. Targeted radiation can often shrink mesothelioma tumors. Relief through surgical intervention. Irradiation may be via an external or an internal source, depending on the location of the tumor.

Multimodal Treatment

Aggressive surgical treatments in combination with chemotherapy and radiation have increased the life expectancy of many patients. Multimodal treatment is a combination of several of the above treatments. The doctors now accept that the best way to prolong survival is to use multimodal methods such as surgery

Clinical trials

Clinical trials provide patients with access to new treatments such as immunotherapy, gene therapy and photodynamic therapy. Every treatment of mesothelioma started in a clinical trial. Studies allow researchers to test new treatments and give patients access to more options.

In many cases, mesothelioma therapists recommend a multimodal approach. Which uses a combination of these three types of mesothelioma treatment. Several studies have shown that multimodality treatment is more effective than any single treatment. For example, an operation combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), which is used throughout the chest. Has led to an increase in life expectancy of peritoneal mesothelioma patients in recent years. Studies have shown that the 5-year survival rate for this treatment is at least 50%.

Types of Treatment

Mesothelioma doctors create a treatment based on the patient's diagnosis. The physician considers the patient's stage of cancer, the cell type and location of the mesothelioma. These factors play an important role in deciding which types of treatment the patient is eligible for. The current types of surgery for pleural mesothelioma include extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) as well as pleurectomy and decortation (P / D). The thoracotomy is the first part of an EPP or P / D surgery.

This allows doctors to operate on organs in the chest. Surgeons can also use a diagnostic procedure called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). A small camera is inserted through a small incision in the chest to see the lungs. VATS allows doctors to look in the chest and take biopsy specimens. The primary operation in peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery, also known as debulking surgery.

Curative Treatment

The doctors use curative treatments to remove mesothelioma from a patient's body. Patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and eligible for curative treatment may have one of the two standard operations for pleural mesothelioma: extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy with decortication (P / D). Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma could undergo cytoreduction. Which doctors often associate with hot chemotherapy in a procedure called cytoreduction with HIPEC. Heated the intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is the most effective treatment option for peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

In this procedure, heated chemotherapeutics are delivered directly into the abdominal cavity after cytoreductive surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

According to a 2013 study at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Median survival for peritoneal patients who underwent HIPEC and cytoreductive surgery was 41 months. Those who returned to a second intervention survived an average of 80 months. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy can also be performed without surgery and at normal room temperature.

Palliative Treatment

A treatment is a palliative when a doctor uses it to relieve pain or discomfort caused by symptoms of mesothelioma treatment. In the most common palliative treatments, fluid retention in the chest or abdomen is dissipated. Patients with pleural mesothelioma receive thoracocentesis. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma patients undergo paracentesis. Palliative care includes any therapy used to relieve symptoms or improve quality of life.

Experimental Mesothelioma Treatments

In addition to conventional therapies, researchers are constantly looking for new therapies for mesothelioma. Some promising, emerging treatments have emerged from clinical trials. In some cases, the life of mesothelioma patients is increased by months or years. New emerging mesothelioma treatment options include immunotherapy and photodynamic therapy. They are being used in clinical trials and may eventually become the standard treatment for mesothelioma. A new treatment for mesothelioma is being thoroughly tested in clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy.


Immunotherapy helps your immune system fight cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration has already approved some checkpoint inhibitors. Such as the pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of various cancers. Mesothelioma could be the next. By kick-starting or strengthening the immune system, it is possible to strengthen the body's defenses against cancer.

Photodynamic Therapy

With the novel use of light and photosensitizing drugs, researchers have found a way to kill cancer cells with few side effects. This therapy uses the light energy to kill cancer cells. Doctors inject a photosensitive drug into the patient. After a few days, the area is applied with a special light, mostly by laser, to activate the drug and kill cancer cells.

Gene Therapy

Because cancer is caused by defects in cell DNA, there is a new way to fight cancer by fixing or overwriting problematic genes.

Clinical Trials and Emerging Treatments

While the above treatments are responsible for the most promising experimental therapies for mesothelioma. Ongoing clinical trials looking for new ways to fight mesothelioma are taking place in cancer clinics around the world. These studies may provide a chance for patients who have not found effective treatment for their mesothelioma. Many mesothelioma patients are eligible for clinical trials testing emerging treatments. Clinical trials are also testing new approaches to multimodal therapy and the combination of various chemotherapeutic agents.

While the above treatments account for the most promising experimental therapies for the treatment of mesothelioma. Ongoing clinical trials looking for new ways to fight mesothelioma are taking place in cancer institutes around the world. These studies may provide a chance for patients who have not found effective treatment for their mesothelioma. If you are not fit for traditional treatments like surgery or chemotherapy. Participating in a clinical trial can give you the chance to improve your prognosis with new treatments. In clinical trials, researchers are developing new ways to combat mesothelioma, such as immunotherapy. The treatment that strengthens your immune system and helps kill mesothelioma cells.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Surgery for Mesothelioma

Pleurectomy with Decortication (P/D)
A Pleurectomy with Decortication (P / D) is a surgical surgeon who removes the lung lining of the lung most affected by tumor growth. And all visible tumors on the lung surface. If the mesothelioma has spread beyond the lining of your lungs, your doctor may also remove parts of the diaphragm and pericardium. The protective lining of the heart. In patients with pleural mesothelioma, the surgeon can remove the cancerous linings around the lungs. This procedure is called pleurectomy / decortication. In general, the tumor can not be completely removed during a pleurectomy / decortication. The more aggressive surgery for pleural mesothelioma is called extrapleural pneumonectomy.

The goal of using a P / D is to alleviate the symptoms of mesothelioma without sacrificing the lungs. Ninety percent of the patients experiencing the procedure suffer from a reduction in symptoms and retain 100% of their respiratory function. P / D protects the lungs and removes only cancerous parts of the pleural lining, chest wall and diaphragm.

Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP)

Doctors use extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) to remove the entire lung and mesothelioma-affected tissue nearby. To prevent the disease from returning, he or she can also remove the diaphragm, nearby lymph nodes, and the lining of the heart. The EPP removes the cancerous lung and all nearby areas where mesothelioma spreads. This may be nearby lymph nodes, parts of the breast lining, heart lining and diaphragm.


Urgeons use peritonectomy to remove part of the peritoneum - the protective lining of the abdomen - that is affected by tumor growth. They also remove any visible tumors that may have spread to nearby organs such as the diaphragm or stomach. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma often have surgery referred to as omentectomy. The omentectomy is the removal of the lining around the abdominal organs. Since patients with peritoneal mesothelioma often have tumors throughout the abdomen, it is difficult to remove them all.

Cytoreductive Surgery

Cytoreductive surgery is when a surgeon combines several peritonectomies to completely remove the mesothelioma from the abdominal cavity. Doctors often combine cytoreductive surgery with heated chemotherapy in a procedure called cytoreduction with HIPEC to maximize their effectiveness. The cytoreductive surgery removes cancerous growths from the abdominal layer. This procedure is also referred to as debulking surgery or peritonectomy.

Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to attack and kill cancer. Their effectiveness depends on your diagnosis, especially on the stage of cancer and the location of the mesothelioma. Chemotherapeutics work better when combined with other medicines - the most common combination of medicines is Alimta and cisplatin - or surgery. Chemotherapy is the most common type of systemic therapy for mesothelioma. It usually works by stopping the ability of cancer cells to grow and divide. Systemic therapy is provided by an oncologist, a physician specializing in the medical treatment of cancer.

Systemic chemotherapy enters the bloodstream and reaches cancer cells throughout the body. Common routes for systemic chemotherapy in mesothelioma are intravenous (IV) tubes that are inserted with a needle into a vein. In peritoneal mesothelioma, the so-called intraperitoneal chemotherapy, the chemotherapy can also be administered directly after the operation in the abdomen.

Pleural mesothelioma

The recommended treatment for patients who have not yet received treatment is the combination of pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin (platinol) or carboplatin (paraplatin). These medications are given in 4 to 6 treatment cycles, each lasting 3 weeks. Significant side effects can occur with this combination of drugs. Some patients may receive a single drug if both medicines have too many side effects. Bevacizumab (see Targeted Therapy, below) may be added to chemotherapy in some patients.

Peritoneal mesothelioma

As mentioned in the section on surgery (above), chemotherapy is often given directly to the abdomen after surgery. IV chemotherapy is also used. As with pleural mesothelioma, the combination of pemetrexed with cisplatin or carboplatin is most commonly used for mesothelioma treatment.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Side Effects

Depending on your tolerability, chemotherapy may affect you severely, mildly or not at all. The side effects disappear slowly after treatment and vary depending on the type of medicine, dose level and length of stay. The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the person and the dose used, but may also include fatigue. The risk of the infection, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite and diarrhea. The most common side effects of the medications used in mesothelioma include kidney damage, numbness and tingling in the fingers or toes. The decreased hearing, rash, a higher risk of infection from a low white blood count or anemia. Patients may also have other side effects. Patients receiving this type of chemotherapy receive vitamins B12 and folic acid to reduce the risk of these side effects.
Common side effects experienced during chemotherapy are:
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue 

Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma

Radiotherapy is the use of high energy rays to kill mesothelioma cells. Doctors can use radiation alone - as a palliative treatment - or combine it with chemo and/or surgery. In some types of radiotherapy, patients may not experience as many side effects as chemotherapy. Because doctors can target tumors to minimize damage to healthy cells. Radiotherapy is the use of high-energy X-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells. A doctor specializing in cancer treatment is called a Radiation Oncologist. The most common type of irradiation is called external irradiation. This is radiation emitted by a machine outside the body.

Three-Dimensional Radiation Treatment (3D-CRT)

Using 3D scans of the tumor, physicians can adjust the amount and intensity of each radiation dose according to its size and shape. By adjusting the amount of radiation, physicians can better target tumors and minimize damage to healthy, non-cancerous cells surrounding the tumors.

Pleural mesothelioma

It is a challenge to treat pleural mesothelioma with radiotherapy because of the risk of lung injury. When one of the two lungs has been surgically removed, thoracic radiotherapy is often performed to reduce the risk of a return of mesothelioma to the chest. For example, this approach can be used after extrapleural pneumonectomy (see above, Surgery). In some patients, radiation therapy may be performed in a smaller area to relieve symptoms such as pain (see Treatment of Symptoms and Side Effects).

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is an advanced form of 3D CRT. Doctors use computers to adjust the amount and intensity of a beam as it passes over a tumor. Researchers in a recent study have shown that the IMRT used after extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) resulted in a median overall survival of just over two years. Of these patients, 41 percent survived another three years after the procedure.

Peritoneal mesothelioma

In patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, irradiation of the entire abdominal space causes serious side effects and is not performed. If a patient has pain in a particular area, radiotherapy may be an option for pain relief (see Care and Treatment of Symptoms and Side Effects).

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

Side effects of radiotherapy may include fatigue, mild skin reactions, stomach upset and loose bowel movements. Most side effects disappear after the mesothelioma treatment ends. Learn more about the basics of radiotherapy. Doctors need to use high doses of radiation to achieve the same anti-cancer effects as chemotherapy drugs. As physicians increase the amount and intensity of radiation, they also increase the likelihood that healthy cells will be damaged, and other side effects may occur.
The side effects of Radiation therapy can occur:
  • Inflammation of the oesophagus
  • Skin redness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Hair loss

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the specific genes, proteins, or tissue environment of the cancer that contribute to the growth and survival of cancer. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells while harming healthy cells.

Recent studies show that not all tumors have the same goals. To find the most effective treatment. Your doctor may perform tests to determine the genes, proteins and other factors in your tumor. This helps physicians combine the patient with the most effective treatment whenever possible. In addition, many research studies are currently taking place to learn more about specific molecular targets and new treatments for them. Learn more about the basics of targeted treatments.

Bevacizumab is a drug called anti-angiogenic. Anti-angiogenesis focuses on stopping angiogenesis, in which new blood vessels are formed. Since a tumor needs the nutrients from the blood vessels to grow and spread, the goal of anti-angiogenic therapies is to "starve" the tumor.


The immunotherapy, also referred to as biological therapy, is intended to strengthen the body's natural defenses against cancer. It uses materials either manufactured by the body or in a laboratory to improve, stimulate or restore the function of the immune system.

For mesothelioma, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and a combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) may be an option for patients who have already received chemotherapy. The different types of immunotherapy can cause different side effects. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of your recommended immunotherapy. Learn more about the basics of immunotherapy.

Complementary Mesothelioma Treatments

The treatment of mesothelioma is usually performed by a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. An emerging mesothelioma treatment such as immunotherapy or gene therapy. However, complementary cancer treatments may provide additional relief of the symptoms or help patients recover after the initial treatment. Doctors use palliative treatments to relieve symptoms of pain in all stages of the mesothelioma. Doctors can use them to supplement curative treatments for patients with stage 1 mesothelioma or stage 2 mesothelioma. Stage 3 mesothelioma and stage 4 mesothelioma patients receive palliative treatment to reduce pain and improve their quality of life.

Palliative Care

This type of care focuses on relieving the pain and suffering of the patient rather than trying to eradicate the disease. Palliative care includes any therapy used to relieve symptoms or improve quality of life. If the cancer has already spread significantly, physicians usually recommend palliative treatment options for mesotheliomas that can help relieve pain. Breathing problems and other cancer symptoms that affect your quality of life.

One of the weakest symptoms of a malignant pleural mesothelioma is, for example, the build-up of fluid in the pleural space around the lungs. This accumulation of fluid makes it very difficult to breathe and can also cause severe pain. This has a strong impact on the quality of life of the patient and can complicate everyday life. The best way to relieve these symptoms is to remove the fluid with a pleural cesarean. A thoracocentesis is the removal of excess fluid from the pleural cavity - the space between the inner and outer lining of the lungs - with a needle. It reduces the pressure caused by too much fluid, which presses on the lungs and makes breathing difficult.

Physical Therapy

After initial treatment, physical therapy is often required to help patients recover from the trauma of treatment themselves. The specific form of physiotherapy that a patient undergoes depends on the specific type of treatment he receives and how his body reacts to it. Common types of physiotherapy include cardiovascular training, scar tissue healing, fatigue management, and strength training. While physiotherapy does not necessarily help eliminate cancer or prevent it from recurring. It can improve the quality of life and overall health of a mesothelioma survivor. Many of mesothelioma patients take steps to improve their overall health. The some patients focus on their emotional and mental health by joining a support group.

Alternative Therapies

Many patients have found relief from physical and emotional symptoms through various alternative treatments. Including the everything from massage and acupuncture to yoga and art therapy. It is important that you consult your doctor before trying any of these alternative treatments. To ensure that your primary treatment plan is not compromised. The fluid is drained via a needle. Complementary and alternative medicine options do not treat the disease itself but focus on the patient mentally, emotionally and physically. They can be used the alongside more traditional approaches to cancer treatment. These treatments are not a substitute for modern medicine and should not be used instead of a doctor or other doctor. In many countries, patients have access to medical marijuana, which can help fight cancer pain.

Mesothelioma Specialists

Doctors who specialize in mesothelioma treatment are oncologists and thoracic surgeons. These physicians know how to treat mesothelioma, and they often take leadership roles in clinical mesothelioma studies.

Several other types of physicians play a supporting role in mesothelioma care, including radiologists, palliative care physicians, pulmonary specialists, general practitioners, internal medicine specialists and occupational physicians. The treatment of mesothelioma requires a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. The connection with a specialist who is familiar with mesothelioma is crucial. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer and there are the limited number of specialists who are qualified to treat patients.

Specialists can also offer more aggressive treatment options than a general oncologist. These treatments have the potential to significantly increase life expectancy and new treatments are emerging. The above doctors are just some of the specialists we can connect you to.

Our Doctor Match the program involves our team traveling across the nation. Building relationships with the best mesothelioma specialists and cancer centers. Through these relationships we connect patients with a specialist who is able to treat a patient based on his diagnosis.


The small number of oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. These oncologists keep abreast of the latest guidelines for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. Your oncologist will be the chief physician monitoring your treatment and any chemotherapy. Your oncologist will also coordinate with other physicians involved in your treatment, such as your radiologist, surgeon and palliative care provider.

What Is the Average Cost for Mesothelioma Treatment?

The average cost of treating malignant pleural mesothelioma is similar to that of treating lung cancer, which costs $ 60,709 in the first year after diagnosis, as recently reported by the National Cancer Institute (Canada).

Treating a malignant mesothelioma can be expensive if you have no health insurance or financial resources. The costs are difficult to determine because each case is unique. The cost of chemotherapy varies depending on the type of cancer, medications used and patient-specific factors. The total cost of pemetrexed (Alimta) plus cisplatin - the most commonly used chemotherapy combination for first-line treatment of mesothelioma - was $ 40,102. According to a 2013 cost-benefit study comparing the drug pair with other chemotherapy regimens.

The estimated monthly cost of radiotherapy is $ 2,000. The total cost depends on your health insurance and the number of treatments you receive. According to a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Oncology Practice. The average cost of treatment for lung cancer patients was $ 9,000.



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Mesothelioma Master: Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma Treatment
The most common mesothelioma treatment involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In cases where standard treatments do not work...
Mesothelioma Master
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