Trimodality treatment for pleural mesothelioma is an approach that combines three primary therapies: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs (pleura), commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.
- Surgery: The first component of trimodality treatment is often surgery. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible while preserving lung function. Surgical options include:
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): This surgery involves the removal of the diseased pleura, part of the diaphragm, the pericardium, and the lung on the affected side. It’s a more aggressive surgery that aims to remove as much of the cancer as possible.
- Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D): This procedure involves removing the pleural lining affected by the tumor, but it aims to preserve the lung, diaphragm, and pericardium. It’s a lung-sparing surgery.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. It can be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) to shrink the tumor and make surgery more effective or after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to target and kill cancer cells. It can be used before surgery to shrink the tumor (neoadjuvant radiation therapy), during surgery (intraoperative radiation therapy), or after surgery (adjuvant radiation therapy) to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Trimodality treatment aims to attack the cancer from multiple angles, increasing the chances of eradicating the disease and preventing its recurrence. However, it’s important to note that not all patients are eligible for trimodality treatment, and the suitability of this approach depends on various factors, including the stage of the cancer, overall health of the patient, and the extent of spread.
This treatment approach often requires a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other healthcare professionals, to collaborate and customize the treatment plan according to the individual patient’s condition.
As with any cancer treatment, the success and outcomes can vary from person to person, and it’s essential for patients to discuss the risks, benefits, and potential side effects of trimodality treatment with their healthcare team to make informed decisions about their care.