Mesothelioma update: shorter course of treatment and improved survival rates?

July 07, 2014
There have been some very exciting recent developments we (the Thoracic Surgery team at Swedish Cancer Institute) are utilizing in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

Over the past year we have offered some of our patients deemed appropriate for surgery a more streamlined approach to their overall care. Previously we have tried to offer chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to all patients who were healthy and strong enough to undergo the three treatments, as mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer requiring aggressive treatment to optimize survival. This new approach still offers both surgery and radiation, but chemotherapy is given only to those found to have cancer in lymph nodes in the center of chest during surgery.

The advantages of this new treatment paradigm are numerous for our patients and their loved ones. Patients now receive radiation not over a month as previously occurred, but over the span of just five days. Both the five day and the month-long trea...