Patients of the Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center receive treatment plans custom tailored to the extent of their disease and mesothelioma cell type. Here is a brief description of the treatment options we offer.
Because the Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center has not just one but several mesothelioma experts, we are able to offer a true multidisciplinary approach to treatment. This means that patients can receive a complete treatment plan with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy components – or tri-modality therapy.
Although mesothelioma cannot usually be cured, tri-modality therapy is much more effective at slowing disease progression compared to a single therapy (surgery or chemotherapy) alone. A three-pronged treatment approach improves survival rates and lengthens lives. Tri-modality therapy is also better at relieving mesothelioma symptoms.
Surgery for Mesothelioma
At the Mesothelioma and Thoracic Oncology Treatment and Research Center, we offer surgical options for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Dr. Joseph Friedberg explains surgery's role in treating mesothelioma.
In many cases, patients with pleural mesothelioma receive a lung-sparing procedure called extended pleurectomy-decortication. This means that instead of removing the affected lung, the surgeon removes the diseased pleura, or the membrane between the lung and the chest cavity. Then, the space is washed with heated povidone-iodine, which destroys the leftover microscopic traces of mesothelioma. The result is improved quality and quantity of life.
Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma
Depending on each patient's unique situation, chemotherapy might be recommended before surgery, after surgery or in lieu of surgery. Chemotherapy for mesothelioma may consist of drugs delivered through an IV or given in pill form.
Leading-edge therapies not yet widely available might be an option through participation in a clinical trial. For a listing of the current mesothelioma-related clinical trials open at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, please visit UMGCCC Clinical Trials.
For more information about chemotherapy, please visit Medical Oncology.
Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma
Radiation therapy is an approach that might alleviate some pain caused by mesothelioma. At the University of Maryland, proton therapy, a highly precise form of radiation therapy that differs from traditional X-ray radiation, is being explored as a new treatment option for mesothelioma.
For more information, please visit Radiation Therapy.