Multimodal therapy uses a combination of several different treatments in order to fight cancer. Studies have shown that this type of therapy increases life expectancy as well as quality of life for patients with mesothelioma. It can also increase the odds for a patient’s full recovery.
Although there are currently limited surgical options, treatments with surgery are improving constantly.
Radiation therapy is used in all patients with mesothelioma, but is especially beneficial to patients that have advanced stages of cancer. It is used to shrink the growth of tumors in early stages and in advanced stages it helps relieve pain in patients. Radiation techniques have developed that can target tumors directly and spare healthy cell tissue.
Chemotherapy is the most traditional approach to treat all types of cancer and has greatly improved in the treatment of mesothelioma. When chemotherapy is combined with other treatments, it improves the rate of survival. Chemotherapy can also be adjusted using different types of medication depending on the patient’s tolerance.
Surgery is used in conjunction with radiation therapy or chemotherapy to improve the results. Doctors continue to experiment to find the most effective combination and can adjust the treatment plan as necessary.
- Adjuvant therapy is usually given after primary cancer treatment in order to prevent the cancer from returning. This is often done immediately after surgery. Because there are still microscopic cancer cells left behind, mesothelioma is likely to return. Chemotherapy right after surgery attempt to kill the cancer cells that have been left behind.
- Neoadjuvant therapy is given to patients prior to their primary therapy this can improve the results by reducing the size of tumors which increases the chances of complete tumor removal after surgery.
- Emerging treatments are often used in multimodal therapy as well as traditional treatments. Emerging treatments are the treatments that are currently being tested in clinical trials. One such trial includes using chemotherapy and combining it with immunotherapy.
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