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Home >  Traditional treatment > Chemotherapy


There are 2 types of chemotherapy in mesothelioma treatment:

The sense of chemotherapy is killing cancerous cells by using special drugs. It can be applied for different purposes: neo-adjuvant therapy is used for preoperative tumor size decrease, adjuvant chemotherapy helps to kill the rest of cancer cells that were not destroyed during the surgery, another usage is increasing the effectiveness of radiation therapy or immunotherapy and destruction of the cancerous cells that have split from the initial tumor. In case the surgery cannot be applied to the patient, chemotherapy is possible stand-alone treatment for him or her.

The doctor has to discuss a specified treatment and possible side effects with his patient before applying chemotherapy procedures.

Here is the list of possible questions the patient may ask the doctor about the treatment:

- What is the amount of treatments I'll be given?

- Which drugs or combination will be used?

- What is the way of the drugs administration? (e.g. intravenous, pills or other)?

- Where will the treatment be carried out? Hospital, doctor's office, and so on?

- What is the length of each treatment?

These questions can be asked concerning side effects:

- What are the side effects of the drug I'm going to receive?

- Can any of the listed side affects occur?

- How can I ease these side effects?

- Should I report of some certain effects immediately?

- How is it possible to reach a health professional if I'll have to call later?

Healthy cells usually recover after applying chemotherapy that's why side effects generally vanish after chemotherapy procedures are completed. Overall health of the patient and the type of chemotherapy he or she was given are some of the factors on which the length of the period required to recover from side effects depends. Your doctor is able to inform you about the treatment.

Doctors are not completely trust the possibility of chemotherapy to control mesothelioma symptoms. 'Active symptom control with or without chemotherapy for mesothelioma' or MS-01 is the British name for clinical trial that aids them in taking the right decision. This trial is based on comparison of non-chemotherapy treatment with two chemotherapy combinations. The goal of this trial is to define the better way to control mesothelioma symptoms.

The trial of raltitrexed (Tomudex) and cisplatin complex usage was announced in 2004. This combination is supposed to work better than stand-alone cisplatin treatment. Finally, these two kinds of trial didn't differ from each other much.

Chemotherapy may apply drugs as single agets whether the most common situation is combined usage of two or more drugs, called "combination therapy". This therapy is applied during the usage of Alimta, an experimental medicine which is developed over the expanded access program carried out for mesothelioma patients. This drug is prescribed in combination with cisplatin or gemcitabine, which are standard medicines for chemotherapy.

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