Epithelioid mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that typically affects the lining of the lungs (pleura), but it can also occur in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) and other internal organs. Treatment options for epithelioid mesothelioma may vary depending on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and other factors. Here are some treatment options that may be considered:
- Surgical resection: This involves removing the tumor and, in some cases, adjacent tissue and organs that may be affected. Surgery is most effective when the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and is localized.
- Pleurectomy/Decortication (P/D): This surgical procedure removes the pleural lining affected by mesothelioma while sparing the lung. It is often used for pleural mesothelioma.
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): This is a more extensive surgery that involves the removal of the affected lung, the pleura, and other nearby tissues. It is sometimes considered for selected patients with pleural mesothelioma.
- Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells or stop their growth. It is often used as a systemic treatment for mesothelioma and can be administered before or after surgery. Common chemotherapy drugs used for mesothelioma include pemetrexed and cisplatin.
- Radiation Therapy:
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to target and kill cancer cells. It is sometimes used as a palliative treatment to alleviate symptoms and control tumor growth.
- Immunotherapy drugs, such as pembrolizumab and nivolumab, are designed to enhance the body’s immune system’s ability to recognize and attack cancer cells. While immunotherapy has shown promise in treating some types of cancer, its effectiveness in mesothelioma is still being studied in clinical trials.
- Targeted Therapy:
- Targeted therapy drugs are designed to target specific molecules or pathways involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Currently, targeted therapies are not a standard treatment for mesothelioma, but research in this area is ongoing.
- Clinical Trials:
- Participation in clinical trials can provide access to experimental treatments and therapies that may not be available through standard treatments. Researchers are continually exploring new approaches to treating mesothelioma, and clinical trials are a crucial part of this process.
- Palliative Care:
- Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life for patients with mesothelioma. It can help manage symptoms, provide pain relief, and address emotional and psychological needs.
It’s important for individuals diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma to work closely with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including oncologists, surgeons, and supportive care specialists, to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on their specific circumstances. Additionally, seeking a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist or treatment center with experience in managing this rare cancer can be beneficial in making informed decisions about treatment options.