Mesothelioma: An Incurable disease treatment Options

Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer. In most cases, the prognosis is very poor at diagnosis. In General, patients do not have more than 12 months to live after a diagnosis positive mesothelioma. Therefore, options for treatment of such a aggressive and the development of the disease are quite limited. Treatment of mesothelioma is generally palliative care. In other words, the goal of treatment is simply to relieve the patient of the pain associated with symptoms of mesothelioma. There is no hope of curing the patient of the disease for several reasons:

(i) diagnosis occurs very late in the development of the disease. At the time when the diagnosis is made, there is little hope for the patient.

(ii) the development of the disease is very rapid and affects major organs such as the heart and lungs.


Surgery or cytoreduction is to remove all or almost all visible tumors. For mesothelioma, it is usually combined with chemotherapy to give more efficient removal of cancerous cells. Some surgical operations are intended to treat the patient completely especially if the cancer is still located. In most other cases, surgery may have a palliative effect because the cancerous mass is reduced. The following types of surgical procedures are used in the treatment of mesothelioma:

(i) Pleurodesis: insertion of an irritant into the pleural cavity causing inflammation. This farm in the pleural cavity, preventing accumulation of fluid (pleural effusion). Most pleural mesothelioma symptoms can be reduced with this method for some time. A thoracoscope is used for this.

(ii) the reaction or peritonectomy: deletion of the part of the chest wall or the lining of the abdomen (depending on where is the cancer).

(iii) decortication: removal of all or part of the membrane covering an organ.

(iv) pneumonectomy: removal of lung affected overall (in most cases, mesothelioma develops on a single lung so that the removal of the lung can cure the patient if cancer is not is not widespread).


Chemotherapy involves the administration of drugs that destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy in the treatment of mesothelioma may have the following objectives:

(i) the shrinkage of tumors before surgery (neo-adjuvant chemotherapy).

(ii) the destruction of cancer cells after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy).

(iii) increase the effectiveness of radiotherapy (immunotherapy).

Chemotherapy is also used in cases where the cancer cells have spread beyond the initial site of occurrence. It is also used when the patient is not a candidate for surgery.

The drug most used for mesothelioma is pemetrexed is an inhibitor of many proteins that are necessary for the synthesis of DNA and cell replication.

Chemotherapy has various side effects because it is destroying cancer cells healthy cells are also affected.

Radiation therapy

It is for the treatment of cancer using penetrating beams of high energy. In the case of mesothelioma, radiotherapy can be used in combination with surgery in an attempt to cure or control the severity of symptoms. An example of radiation therapy is the intensity modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) computer uses images to target cancer cells directly with limited effect on the surrounding tissues generated.

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