Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma treatment may be used to increase survival time (curative treatment) or to decrease symptoms (palliative treatment). The standard treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Mesothelioma surgery is generally the most effective form of treatment for increasing life expectancy. For patients who are eligible, the most common surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).
Cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC has 2 parts:
- Cytoreduction: Doctors open a patient’s peritoneal cavity and surgically remove as much visible cancer as possible. This procedure is also called debulking.
- HIPEC: Before closing the abdomen, doctors apply heated chemotherapy directly to the area.
When surgeons are able to remove nearly all visible peritoneal mesothelioma tumors through cytoreduction, patients have a median survival of 56.7 months. Those who received a partial resection (removal) of tumors lived for an average of 7.4 months after surgery.
Additionally, cytoreduction with HIPEC is typically most effective for patients with the epithelioid cell type. Their median survival after surgery is roughly 5 times longer than that of patients with sarcomatoid or biphasic cell type.
Chemotherapy and Radiation
Peritoneal mesothelioma patients who cannot undergo cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC may turn to traditional chemotherapy both to extend their lives and reduce their symptoms.
Radiation therapy is generally not used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma because of the many abdominal organs that could be damaged by the high-energy treatment beams.
Palliative treatment helps decrease pain and discomfort and increase quality of life. Palliative treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma include standard chemotherapy, alternative therapies, and paracentesis, which involves draining excess fluid from the abdomen.
Through clinical trials, patients with peritoneal mesothelioma can access emerging treatments that may help them if traditional treatment options are not effective or available.
Emerging treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma include:
- Chemotherapy drug advancements
- Gene therapy
Talk to your mesothelioma doctor to determine your eligibility for participating in a clinical trial.