National Cancer Institute

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National Cancer Institute – Mesothelioma Treatment Section
6116 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Phone: 800.422.6237

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland has been around since 1937 and it is considered the world’s pre-eminent cancer organization. NCI activities include: conducting and fostering cancer research; reviewing and approving grant-in-aid applications to support promising research projects on the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer; collecting, analyzing, and disseminating the results of cancer research conducted in the United States and in other countries, and providing training and instruction in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

To date, National Cancer Institute has supported the research efforts of roughly 20 Nobel Prize winners. These efforts led to the discovery of the segmental nature of eukaryotic genes, RNA splicing, oncogenes, and reverse transcriptase, and clinical applications such as allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, magnetic resonance imaging, and hormonal treatments for cancer.

NCI has several extramural and intramural divisions. Extramural divisions include the: Division of Cancer Biology, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Division of Cancer Prevention, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, and the Division of Extramural Activities. Intramural divisions and centers include the: Center for Cancer Research; Branch, Lab, and Program Index: Center for Cancer Research, and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology, and Genetics.

The National Cancer Institute lists several types of mesothelioma and treatment options including: Localized Malignant Mesothelioma (Stage I), Advanced Malignant Mesothelioma (Stage II, Stage III, and Stage IV), and Recurrent Malignant Mesothelioma. Treatments for Localized Malignant Mesothelioma (Stage I) may include: surgery to remove part of the chest lining and some tissue around it, Pleurectomy and decortication, with or without radiation therapy, extrapleural pneumonectomy, radiation therapy or a clinical trial such as a trial of combinations of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. NCI features a PDQ Cancer Clinical Trials Registry, which (at the time this article was published) is currently accepting patients with localized malignant mesothelioma.

Treatments for Advanced Malignant Mesothelioma (Stage II, Stage III, and Stage IV) may include surgery, pleurectomy and decortication, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (with one anticancer drug). Clinical trials are also available including a clinical trial of combination chemotherapy, combinations of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, and a clinical trial of chemotherapy placed directly into the chest cavity or abdominal cavity to shrink the tumors and keep fluid from building up.

For Recurrent Malignant Mesothelioma, National Cancer Institute lists the following treatment options: a clinical trial of biologic therapy, a clinical trial of chemotherapy, and clinical trial of surgery.