Clinical trials should be considered as an option when choosing a treatment approach. A clinical trial is research that looks at a new treatment technique. Doctors are interested in knowing if the new therapy is safe, effective, and maybe better than the standard treatment. Clinical trials may examine a novel therapy, a new combination of existing medicines, or new doses of existing pharmaceuticals or other treatments. These clinical trials are an option to consider for cancer therapy and care at any stage.
Overview of Treatment
Several types of clinicians frequently collaborate in cancer care to develop a patient’s overall treatment plan, which may include various forms of therapy. A multipurpose team is what this is called. The cancer care teams include physician assistants, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, and other medical specialists. Below are descriptions of the most prevalent types of therapy used to treat pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Treatment for symptoms and side effects is also part of your treatment plan, which is an important part of cancer treatment.
Treatment options and recommendations are based on a number of factors, including the kind and stage of cancer, the likelihood of adverse effects, as well as the patient’s preferences and general health. Take the time to read about all of your treatment options, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything that seems unclear. Discuss the goals of each therapy with your doctor, as well as what you may expect during treatment. “Shared decision making” is the phrase for these kinds of discussions. When you and your doctors collaborate to choose therapies that are appropriate for your needs, this is known as shared decision making.
The use of high-energy x-rays or other such particles to eliminate cancer cells is known as radiation therapy. A radiation oncologist is a doctor specialising in treating cancer patients using radiation treatment. Radiation from a machine outside the body, or external-beam radiation, is the most prevalent method of radiation treatment. A radiation therapy regimen, also called a schedule, entails a set number of treatments that are given over a predetermined amount of time.
Mesothelioma pleural. Because of the potential for lung damage, treating pleural mesothelioma with radiation treatment is difficult. When one of the two lungs is surgically removed, radiation treatment to the chest cavity is frequently used to reduce the chance of mesothelioma returning to the chest. This method, for example, might be utilised after extrapleural pneumonectomy. Radiation treatment may be used as supportive care for some patients to assist reduce symptoms like pain.
Mesothelioma peritonei. Radiation treatment to the whole abdomen is not recommended for persons with peritoneal mesothelioma since it generates significant negative effects. Radiation treatment may be a supportive care option for a patient who is experiencing discomfort in a specific region.
During surgery, the tumour and part of the surrounding healthy tissue are removed. A surgical oncologist is a physician who specialises in the surgical treatment of cancer. The type of surgery for mesothelioma is determined by cancer’s stage and location.
Mesothelioma pleural. The surgeon may remove the malignant lining around the lung in persons with pleural mesothelioma. Pleurectomy/decortication is the name for this procedure. Pleurectomy/decortication does not always completely eradicate the tumour. Extrapleural pneumonectomy is a more aggressive procedure for pleural mesothelioma. The lining of the lung, the whole lung, a section of the diaphragm, and typically a portion of the lining around the heart are all removed in this procedure. This is a difficult procedure that should only be carried out after the doctor has considered a number of considerations, including the patient’s general health and illness stage. Following surgery, further treatment such as chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy is often required. Prior to surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be used.
Mesothelioma peritonei. Omentectomy is a treatment used to treat people with peritoneal mesothelioma. The lining around the abdominal organs is removed during an omentectomy. It’s difficult to remove all of the tumours in people with peritoneal mesothelioma since they generally cover the whole abdomen. The goal of surgery is to remove tumours that are as small as possible. Chemotherapy can be given directly into the abdomen after surgery.
The most common type of systemic treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy. It works by preventing cancer cells from growing, dividing, or producing new cells. A chemotherapy regimen, sometimes known as a schedule, consists of a certain number of cycles administered over a set period of time. A patient may get a single medication or a combination of medications at the same time.
Mesothelioma pleural. For those who haven’t had therapy yet, a combination of pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin (Platinol) or carboplatin (Paraplatin) is advised (Paraplatin). These medications are administered every three weeks. A cycle is defined as a 3-week period. Four to six therapy cycles are possible. Following the treatment cycles, some patients may get further therapy known as maintenance therapy. This drug combination has the potential to cause major side effects. If administering both medications causes too many negative effects, some patients may only get one drug. For certain people, bevacizumab may be added to chemotherapy.
Mesothelioma peritonei. Chemotherapy is usually given directly into the stomach after surgery, as mentioned above in the Surgery section. Chemotherapy can also be given through an IV (intravenously; into a vein). Pemetrexed with cisplatin or carboplatin is the most common treatment for pleural mesothelioma, just as it is for pleural mesothelioma.
Immunotherapy, also known as biological treatment, aims to boost the body’s natural defences against cancer. It makes use of components made by the body or in a lab to boost, target, or repair immune system activity. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) & nivolumab (Opdivo) as a first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma that cannot be cured with surgery. This combination is allowed for use in adults with all types of pleural mesothelioma, however, the study showed that those with biphasic or sarcomatoid mesothelioma improved more.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) & a combination of ipilimumab & nivolumab for mesothelioma may be options for people who have already had chemotherapy. Various types of immunotherapy may have different side effects. Skin rashes, flu-like symptoms, diarrhoea, and weight swings are all common side effects. Consult your doctor about the immunotherapy that has been prescribed for you.
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that focuses on the tissue environment, proteins, or genes that contribute to the growth & survival of cancer. This treatment prevents cancer cells from growing and spreading while causing minimal damage to healthy cells.
The goals of each cancer are different. Your doctor may do tests to discover the genes, proteins, and other characteristics in your tumour to decide the most effective treatment. When possible, this allows doctors to better match each patient with the most beneficial treatment. Furthermore, research continues to uncover new information about specific molecular targets and novel therapies aimed at them. Learn about the fundamentals of targeted therapy.
For people with pleural mesothelioma, the drug bevacizumab (Avastin) may be added to chemotherapy if they do not have any health issues that would prevent them from receiving it. Anti-angiogenic targeted treatment, such as bevacizumab, is a type of medicine. Anti-angiogenesis aims to stop the formation of new blood vessels, which is known as angiogenesis. Anti-angiogenesis therapy aims to “starve” a tumour of the nutrients that blood vessels provide in order for it to grow and spread. Consult your doctor about the possible side effects of medication and how they can be managed.