Even though the root cause of it had been discovered years ago, there hasnít been much successful progress about treating it. If discovered at an early stage, the treatment of malignant mesothelioma is possible but in very rare cases.
The level of malignancy depends upon different factors such as mesothelial surface of the oleural cavity which helps local metastasis by exfoliating cells, invasion into the tissue and other organs protected by the pleural cavity as well as the latency period which can span several decades when it comes to asbestos diseases. The patientís general health also affects things greatly.
Surgery as an option for mesothelioma treatment
By itself, surgery has proved to be very disappointing when it comes to mesothelioma. The known survivor only survived for 11.7 months after the surgery. That being said, surgery can be succeful to greater degree if coupled with radiation and chemotherapy. In some cases, the lining of the chest is removed while in others, the lung, lining of the inside of the chest, the hemi-diaphragm and pericardium are removed.
For patients who can tolerate radiation, it is given post-op as a treatment. The hemi-thorax is administered with radiation therapy often coupled with chemotherapy. This mix has helped improve life expectancy in a few patient populations.
However, it also comes with its risks and side effects such asatal pneumonitis. To cure mesothelioma, radiotherapy is commonly administered to the sites of chest drain insertion, so as to prevent growth of the tumor in the chest wall.
Chemotherapry in mesothelioma treatment
The only known treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy. It improves survival chances in randomized and controlled trials. The side effects included nausea and vomiting, stomatitis, and diarrhoea but these only affected a minority of patients, thus, combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin was successful when patients were given vitamin supplementation; both Overall health and lung functions tests improved.
In February 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved pemetrexed. This was a big leap for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. That being said, the prescribed dosage and number of cycles to administer have not been fully determined just yet.