There are now more treatment options than ever for mesothelioma patients. Years ago, most doctors would tell mesothelioma patients that nothing could be done to help them. Fortunately, times have changed and now most mesothelioma patients can receive treatments that can extend their lives
We describe 5 different types of mesothelioma treatments on this page. You can get more complete information about mesothelioma treatment options by contacting us for your free Meso Guide.
- Surgeries for Mesothelioma: For pleural mesothelioma there are two main types of mesothelioma surgery. The first is called an “extrapleural pneumonectomy” or “EPP”. This surgery involves removing the entire pleura and the entire lung that is encased by the diseased pleura. The other surgery that is commonly used for pleural mesothelioma is a “decortication”. This surgery differs from the EPP because the lung is not removed, but instead only the mesothelioma tumor that is spread along the pleura is removed. It is becoming increasingly common for surgeons to administer heated chemotherapy after removing the mesothelioma tumor at the time of surgery. For peritoneal mesothelioma, the most common surgical procedure is “debulking” with “heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy” (HIPIC). In this surgery, the mesothelioma tumor that is spread across the peritoneum is removed and then heated chemotherapy is administered. The mesothelioma centers that perform these surgeries have statistics and data showing survival rates for each of the surgeries, taking into account particular factors such as the mesothelioma cell type of the amount of tumor present at the time of surgery.
- Chemotherapy: The most common chemotherapy drug used to treat mesothelioma is called “Alimta” which is made by Eli Lilly. This is the brand name for the drug “pemetrexed disodium”. Alimta is administered intravenously and patients typically do numerous cycles of chemotherapy with breaks between each cycle. Gemcitabine-Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug combination that is also commonly used to treat mesothelioma.
- Radiation: Radiation therapy is sometimes used after mesothelioma surgeries to eliminate portions of the mesothelioma tumor that could not be successfully removed during surgery. Radiation can also be used to shrink the mesothelioma tumor to help alleviate symptoms such as difficulty breathing.
- Immunotherapy: The use of immunotherapy to treat mesothelioma is becoming increasingly common. With immunotherapy, a drug is administered to the patient that is designed to cause the patient’s immune system to fight the mesothelioma. Researchers are now investigating whether certain immunotherapy treatments may be more effective when administered to patients having specific genetic mutations.
- Clinical Trials: There are a large number of clinical trials that are accepting patients at various mesothelioma centers throughout the United States. Clinical trials may offer the patient that opportunity to obtain new, cutting edge treatment. Participation in mesothelioma clinical trials is recognized by the medical community as an important research tool in the effort to advance the treatment of mesothelioma and ultimately find a cure. Our free Meso Guide includes a book with updated information on all Mesothelioma Clinical Trials in the United States.
For more information, contact us today for your free Meso Guide.