Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment

The treatment of pleural mesothelioma depends on the stage and whether the cancer is surgically resectable (can be removed through surgery). Doctors also take into account the health of the patient, as well as whether or the cancer has recurred after previous treatment.

Immunotherapy medications like pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and Nivolumab (Opdivo) aid immune cells recognize and destroy mesothelioma cells. Clinical trials offer other immunotherapies.

Treatment Options

New treatment options continue improving the prognosis of people with mesothelioma. These treatments can prolong life and reduce symptoms like pain.

Specialists in mesothelioma can design a treatment plan that includes different types of treatment options for each patient. Many patients with mesothelioma also take part in clinical studies that test the latest treatments. They are usually available at cancer centers which specialize in treating mesothelioma.

Surgery is the most effective treatment for mesothelioma because it removes tumors directly. To treat pleural cancer, doctors can employ a variety of surgical procedures. One procedure, called extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), involves removing the lining around the lung and a piece of the diaphragm and pericardium. If necessary, doctors may also remove organs.

Chemotherapy is used in order to destroy cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading or growing. This kind of treatment can be administered before or after surgery, as well as during or following it. In certain instances, doctors will combine chemotherapy with radiation or other surgical procedures.

Radiation therapy can reduce pain by shrinking tumors that press on nerves, bones, or major blood vessels. It can be administered before or after EPP surgery. Doctors can also administer radiation after a pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) surgery as an alternative to more invasive procedures.

Immunotherapy with interleukin-2 (IL-2) is believed to be active in a few patients. IL-2 is a monoclonal antibody that targets malignant pleural cell of mesothelioma. It can be given through an intravenous (IV) line or injected into the chest cavity.

Palliative care treatment is that is designed to help patients feel better and lessen the side effects of mesothelioma and its treatment. It may involve medication to treat pain as well as other problems such nausea and vomiting. It may also include alternative treatments like yoga, acupuncture and meditation.


Chemotherapy is a type of systemic treatment that uses cancer-killing drugs to slow the growth and spread of tumors. Patients typically receive chemotherapy drugs in a mix like pemetrexed and Cisplatin, which work in tandem to increase effectiveness and improve the outcomes. These drugs can be administered before, during or after surgery (neoadjuvant), or in place of surgery (adjuvant).

Doctors will suggest various treatment options depending on the stage of mesothelioma, and other factors. It is important to discuss all of your options with your doctor. This is called shared decisions and gives both you and your physician the freedom to choose an approach that will meet your needs.

The doctor will conduct the biopsy to determine the stage your mesothelioma. A physician will insert a thin tube through the abdomen or chest, and use special instruments to take a tissue sample. The sample is then examined to determine if it contains cancerous cells.

Asbestos fibers can cause irritation to lung cells, causing pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelial cells then mutate and develop into tumors. The biopsy is the only way to determine whether or not you are suffering from mesothelioma.

Surgery can improve the chances of a successful outcome in the event that you have pleural cancer in its initial stages. Two surgical options are available for patients: extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy with decortication (P/D). In EPP, doctors eliminate the lung that is infected and usually part or all of the diaphragm. P/D surgery entails the removal of the pleura and in most cases also parts of the pericardium.

This surgical procedure can be utilized for the treatment of peritoneal cancer. The use of immunotherapy and/or radiation may be beneficial for patients with mesothelioma pleural that is not resectable. Combining ipilimumab and Nivolumab also referred to as Opdivo and Yervoy together with conventional mesothelioma therapy can increase the chance of survival.

A new emerging mesothelioma treatment is epigenetic therapy. It aims to reverse asbestos damage and restore normal DNA expression. Tazemetostat is currently in clinical trials in the second phase and targets BAP1 enzymes that are involved in epigenetic regulation. This is a viable option for people with recurrent pleural mesothelioma.


Radiation can reduce symptoms and extend the life of patients by shrinking tumors that relieve lung pressure. Mesothelioma specialists utilize a variety of radiation treatments. Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) is one of them. It makes use of multiple beams of radiation to target cancerous tissue in different angles. Doctors can also use intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which targets specific areas of the tumor and decreases the radiation exposure to healthy tissue around it.

Immunotherapy can enhance the effects of conventional treatments. This kind of treatment enhances the body’s natural defenses against mesothelioma. It can also decrease the chance of recurrence. It is available through clinical trials or as an add-on to conventional mesothelioma treatments. In 2020 the FDA approved two immunotherapy drugs to treat cancer of the pleural region: Opdivo (nivolumab), and Yervoy(ipilimumab). Other immunotherapy drugs have shown promise in clinical studies.

Surgery can eliminate mesothelioma and decrease symptoms. For pleural mesothelioma surgery, surgeons usually perform a procedure called pleurectomy and decortication or P/D. P/D helps protect the lungs by only removing the pleura where the majority of cancer cells are found. It is most effective in early-stage mesothelioma and is sometimes performed with chemotherapy before or after surgery.

Doctors can drain fluid from the chest through an easier procedure to ease breathing problems caused by excessive fluid. They can also inject medicine into the chest to stop the accumulation of fluid (pleurodesis).

The palliative treatment for mesothelioma is not a cure, but it can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Patients with mesothelioma should discuss their treatment goals and expectations with a doctor.

Specialists in mesothelioma may offer a comprehensive treatment plan. They will analyze your health history and the most recent research to develop a plan of treatment that will aid you in managing your symptoms and live longer. The mesothelioma doctor will collaborate with other health care professionals, such as nurses physician assistants, social workers and counselors, to ensure that you receive the highest quality of care. A mesothelioma expert can also recommend clinical trial to try out new treatments.


If mesothelioma isn’t spreading, the surgeon can remove the tumor in order to relieve symptoms. Most mesothelioma is diagnosed at a later stage in which the cancer is more advanced and cannot be removed surgically. The aim is to manage the symptoms and prolong survival.

Your doctor could suggest various treatments for your mesothelioma of the pleura. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. abdominal mesothelioma treatment known as immunotherapy can boost a patient’s immune system to fight mesothelioma. These treatments may prolong the life of a patient and improve the quality of life but they are not able to end the disease.

Your doctor will collect an appropriate tissue sample and analyze it for cancerous cells to identify pleural mesothelioma. The sample is taken by a biopsy, or through a different procedure like bronchoscopy or video-assisted surgery (VATS). A doctor may perform lung function tests to determine the capacity to breathe or an x-ray chest scan to assess how well the lungs function.

If your doctor determines that you have pleural msothelioma they will assign a stage of the cancer depending on the location of the cancer and other factors. These stages are indicated with Roman numerals, with one being the most advanced and four being the most advanced.

The stage of a pleural cancer determines whether it is surgically treated. Stage I or II pleural cancers are the most curable as it has not spread beyond the pleura.

If your mesothelioma is at an advanced stage, your doctor may perform surgery to ease symptoms. They can do an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) that removes the entire lung affected by cancer, or a pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) that eliminates the visible tumor as well as the diseased pleura, but does not remove the lung.

It is likely that you will spend some time in the hospital following surgery. You might feel dizzy, confused or chilly when the anesthesia wears off, but your nurses will give you pain medicine to keep you feeling comfortable. Then, you will be transferred to a regular hospital room if you’re staying overnight or remain in the outpatient facility until you are able to go home.

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