Though there is no known cure for mesothelioma, there are a few treatment methods that can alleviate suffering and extend life. Different treatment methods are suggested for different types of mesothelioma.
Surgery for pleural mesothelioma
There are four types of surgery for treating pleural mesothelioma -
There are also procedures used to help control symptoms, including thoracocentesis
Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma
The surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma is called a peritonectomy. An operation called laparotomy is generally performed which involves the opening up of the abdominal cavity to remove a part or whole of the tumor. It is usually only palliative.
Doctors have developed a technique known as cytoreductive surgery (CRS) in recent years for peritoneal mesothelioma. In this method, as much tumor as possible is removed surgically. Then chemotherapy is given straight into the peritoneal cavity. According to some studies, this can work better if it is heated initially to a few degrees above body temperature, which is known as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Promising results have been achieved using these techniques. In one recent study, the 5 year survival rate of patients who underwent cytoreductive surgery followed by HIIC was 63%. In another, the median survival rate for patients treated this way was 87.2 months, over 7 years.
Surgery for pericardial mesothelioma
Pericardial mesothelioma can occasionally be treated with surgery. As much of the tumor and pericardium as possible is removed. Even if surgery is performed, the entire tumor or all of the cells are not likely to be removed or treated. So, further systemic treatment like radiation or chemotherapy is usually needed subsequent to surgery.