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Chemotherapy for mesothelioma

chemotherapy

What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs designed to slow or stop the growth of rapidly dividing cancer cells in the body. It may be used:

  • As a primary treatment to destroy cancer cells
  • Before another treatment to shrink a tumor
  • After another treatment to destroy any remaining cancer cells
  • To relieve symptoms of advanced cancer

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our medical oncologists are experienced in delivering targeted, individualized chemotherapy options while also proactively managing side effects.

Chemotherapy delivery methods

Some chemotherapy delivery methods include:

  • Orally (by mouth as a pill or liquid)
  • Intravenously (by infusion into a vein)  
  • Topically (as a cream on the skin)
  • Injection
  • Direct placement (via a lumbar puncture or device placed under the scalp)

When chemotherapy drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cells throughout the body, it is called systemic chemotherapy. When chemotherapy drugs are directed to a specific area of the body, it is called regional chemotherapy.

Experienced care team

For most of our patients, a medical oncologist serves as their primary doctor. Our medical oncologists specialize in diagnosing cancer and delivering chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and/or hormone therapy. They will work closely with you and the rest of your care team to discuss chemotherapy options based on your individual needs.

Individualized treatment approach

When you arrive at the hospital, your medical oncologist will review your medical history and perform a full diagnostic evaluation, then present you with a treatment plan based on your specific diagnosis.

Chemotherapy is an important part of treatment for many of our patients. Our physicians use leading treatment protocols and practice evidence-based medicine. In some cases, we may use innovative delivery methods to treat certain types of cancer.

We strive to find the right chemotherapy drug, or combination of drugs, for each person. We may use tests, such as tumor molecular profiling, to identify an appropriate drug combination for your disease and help you avoid unnecessary toxicity.

If chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan, your medical oncologist will coordinate your dosage and schedule. You may receive chemotherapy alone, or in combination with other treatment modalities like targeted therapies, surgery and/or radiation therapy.

Throughout your treatment, your medical oncologist will monitor the effectiveness of your chemotherapy regimen and modify your treatment plan accordingly.

Managing chemotherapy side effects

While chemotherapy targets cancer cells, it can also damage healthy cells and cause unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue and mouth sores. Your dedicated care team will provide a variety of integrative oncology services to help you prevent or manage side effects throughout your chemotherapy treatment.

Chemotherapy medical animation

Video: Chemotherapy Medical Animation

Medical animation

Tumor molecular profiling for mesothelioma

Chemotherapy for mesothelioma

For patients with stage IV pleural mesothelioma and mesothelioma that is inoperable, chemotherapy is used to fight the disease. For stages I, II or III pleural mesothelioma, patients may have a treatment regimen consisting of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Some of the mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs used to treat the disease include:

  • Pemetrexed
  • Cisplatin
  • Carboplatin
  • Gemcitabine
  • Vinorelbine

HIPEC for peritoneal mesothelioma

At CTCA, we offer a highly innovative peritoneal mesothelioma treatment option called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). This highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment is delivered directly to the abdomen during surgery.

Unlike systemic chemotherapy delivery, which circulates through the body, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen. This allows for higher doses of chemotherapy treatment. Heating the solution may improve the absorption of chemotherapeutic drugs by tumors and destroy microscopic cancer cells that remain the abdomen after surgery.

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