Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

April 10, 2010 · Posted in Treatments 

The lethal cancer named malignant mesothelioma can be cured through chemical substances in mesothelioma chemotherapy. In spite of the various numbers of treatments for mesothelioma, there are only a few that proves to be successful in curing the disease. Mesothelioma chemotherapy is classified into two categories: traditional mesothelioma and new mesothelioma treatments.

Ever since the early 1940s, chemotherapy has been widely used in curing cancer. But because of scientific improvements and a better understanding of the characteristics of the disease, a continuous research and development of targeted chemotherapy agents are allowed recently. The treatment that chemotherapy provides becomes most useful when the cancer cells are moderately young and there is still no formation of a solid tumor mass.

Many mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs are used in treating the rare type of cancer. However, none of those drugs have been effective in treating the malignant mesothelioma. Similar to standard chemotherapy agents, these drugs are impaired in cell division and initiated programmed cellular death or also called apoptosis. The anti-angiogenesis mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs, for instance, prevents the new blood vessels to form in a process called angiogenesis. These drugs also prevent tumors from creating a trail where nutrients are received and oxygen passes through which are necessary once the tumor has grown and continue to spread.

Cisplatin is one of the most traditional chemotherapy drugs that is used to treat malignant mesothelioma. It is part of the family of three comparable drugs, including Carboplatin and Oxaliplatin. It cross-links DNA in a number of ways which prevents fast division of cells and duplication of DNA that aids in further cell division. Other recent chemotherapy drugs such as Alimta or pemetrexed, Onconase or ranpirnase and Veglin are in conjunction with Cisplatin.

Types of Treatment for Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

The Mestothelioma Chemotherapy treatments are not always geared for the intention to heal. There are more common mesothelioma treatments that are used such as Combined Modality Chemotherapy which is usually partnered with other types of treatment like radiation therapy and surgery. One example that involves different kinds of therapy is the trimodality therapy which contains the use of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. Another type of therapy is the intensity modulated radiation therapy or the IMRT which is also a radiotherapy that is more advanced and uses computer-controlled linear accelerators while minimizing the dose to surrounding normal critical structures. The other kind of treatment is called Neoadjuvant chemotherapy which is also called preoperative chemotherapy with the intention to shrink the size of the tumor mass before surgical treatment takes place. Adjuvant chemotherapy is another type of therapy that is also called postoperative chemotherapy. This therapy is utilized after a surgical treatment once a returning risk of cancer is found. Palliative chemotherapy, on the other hand, is a kind of mesothelioma chemotherapy that uses a palliative technique where it emphasizes on curing the symptoms more rather than the whole disease.

The dosage for chemotherapy differs based on the patient’s body surface area or BSA, which determines an approximate body volume. This can give the perfect balance of chemotherapy treatment and at the same time, avoiding the toxic side-effects.

Side Effects of Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

When a person undergoes chemotherapy, there is an expectation of physical and mental exhaustion for patients. Chemical treatments that are constant entail the following side effects: cardiotoxicity, constipation, diarrhea, hair loss, hepatoxicity, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, lowered number of red blood cells or anemia, nausea, nephrotoxicity, ototoxicity, secondary neoplasm, vomiting, and a weakened immune system.

The chemotherapy treatments all depends on the patient and the severity of the condition which can usually be managed on both an in-patient and out-patient basis.


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