Mesothelioma Treatment Option Overview
There are different types of
treatment for patients with malignant mesothelioma.
Different types of treatments are
available for patients with malignant mesothelioma. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some
are being tested in clinical trials. Before starting treatment,
patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. A treatment
clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or
obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new
treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become
the standard treatment.
trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about ongoing
clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site. Choosing the most appropriate
cancer treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and
health care team.
Three types of standard treatment
following surgical treatments may be used for malignant
Wide local excision: Surgery to remove the
cancer and some of the healthy tissue around it. Pleurectomy and decortication: Surgery to remove part of the
covering of the lungs and lining of the chest and part of
the outside surface of the lungs.Extrapleural pneumonectomy: Surgery to remove
one whole lung and part of the lining of the chest, the diaphragm, and the lining of the sac around
the heart.Pleurodesis: A surgical procedure that uses
chemicals or drugs to make a scar in the space between
the layers of the pleura. Fluid is first drained from the space using
a catheter or chest tube and the chemical or
drug is put into the space. The scarring stops the build-up of fluid in
the pleural cavity.
Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen
at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any
cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after
surgery, to increase the chances of a cure, is called adjuvant therapy.
therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two
types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside
the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed
directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given
depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells,
either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When
chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter
the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is
placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in
those areas (regional chemotherapy). Combination chemotherapy is the use of more than
one anticancer drug. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and
stage of the cancer being treated.
types of treatment that are being tested in clinical trials include the
Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the
patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by
the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the
body’s natural defenses against cancer. This type of cancer treatment is also
called biotherapy or immunotherapy.
summary section refers to specific treatments under study in clinical trials,
but it may not mention every new treatmentbeing studied.