Chemotherapy Treatment for Mesothelioma
Chemotherapy is a non-invasive treatment that can help slow the progress of mesothelioma by destroying cancer cells. During chemotherapy, patients receive potent drugs that work against cancer by killing abnormal cells. These drugs may be administered intravenously, in pill form or directly into the abdominal or chest cavities.
There are several different kinds of chemotherapy drugs for mesothelioma, including cisplatin, pemetrexed and gemcitabine. While some people don’t respond well to these drugs, many mesothelioma patients have been able to beat the odds and live longer with the help of chemotherapy treatment.
Researching Chemotherapy Drug Combinations
New chemotherapy drugs and drug combinations are currently being tested in clinical trials to determine the most effective options to improve survival.
How Can Chemotherapy Help Me?
Chemotherapy may be offered to patients as a treatment option at any of the 4 stages of mesothelioma, though specific treatment goals vary depending on the patient’s condition. For some patients, the goal is to shrink tumors. For others, chemotherapy is used to reduce painful symptoms.
Doctors use chemotherapy for mesothelioma for the following treatment objectives:
- Shrink tumors and eliminate mesothelioma cells before surgery to help improve surgical success
- Kill remaining cancer cells left over after surgery
- Prevent recurrence (when the mesothelioma comes back) by administering chemotherapy directly into the body
- Alleviate painful symptoms by destroying tumors and preventing cancer cells from spreading.