Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Treatment

Chemotherapy for mesothelioma may be used alone, or in combination with other treatments for mesothelioma.

Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Treatment at Penn

Penn Medicine has led the way in new cancer treatments that use chemotherapy to treat mesothelioma for decades. Patients benefit from a unique group of physicians and nurses who have unmatched experience and highly specialized training in mesothelioma treatment. As a result patients can live better, longer lives.

How Does Chemotherapy Treat Mesothelioma?

Chemotherapy may be administered via a pill or ingested liquid, or intravenously (through an IV). For most mesothelioma patients, chemotherapy is given through an IV.

Chemotherapy uses medicines that stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by preventing them from dividing. The drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body.

Multiple drugs that attack cancer in different ways can be combined to increase their effectiveness.

Chemotherapy Approaches for Mesothelioma

Chemotherapy is used in several ways. It may be the primary mesothelioma treatment, be used in combination with other treatments or act as a supporting treatment before and/or after surgery. For cancers that cannot be removed surgically, chemotherapy may be the main treatment.

For mesotheliomas that can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy may be given before surgery to minimize the cancer and lower the risk of spread. This is called neoadjuvant therapy. In some cases patients who were once considered inoperable may become surgical candidates following administration of chemotherapy.

Adjuvant therapy treatment is chemotherapy given after surgery. Chemotherapy after surgery is often used in combination with other forms of cancer treatment to reduce the chance of recurrence. This approach may include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy (biologic therapy) or vaccine therapy. It is often effective in killing any cancer cells that were left behind because they were too small to be seen. Adjuvant therapy may also helpdelay or prevent the mesothelioma cancer from growing back, improving the outcome.

Targeted therapy is another approach to medical treatment for mesothelioma. Medical oncologists sometimes use targeted therapies, such as drugs or other substances to block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression.

Need More Information on Mesothelioma Chemotherapy?

Contact the Penn Mesothelioma program today. A Nurse/Patient Navigator can help you understand when chemotherapy is appropriate for mesothelioma, as well as all the other available treatment options.

Contact a mesothelioma Nurse/Patient Navigator at Penn today. Call 215-662-9697