With emerging treatments, doctors attempt to discover a better way of treating patients through clinical trials performed by medical researchers. Unfortunately, if a patient is diagnosed with stage 3 or stage 4, they may no longer be qualified for traditional treatments – including EPP or a P/D. However, patients may still benefit from emerging treatments that are being tested in clinical trials by researchers – including gene therapy, immunotherapy, and photodynamic therapy.
A combination of two or more treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery is known as multimodal therapy. By using more than one treatment, countless patients with mesothelioma experienced an improved life expectancy in any location – peritoneal or pleural.
Various recent studies have shown that pleural mesothelioma patients with EPP combined with both chemotherapy and radiation therapy had a median survival rate of 13 to 23.9 months.
Patients have even experienced a better 30-month survival rate with multimodal therapy – combining P/D with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Another form of multimodal treatment combines cytoreduction with HIPEC. It is a combination of tumor-removing surgery in the abdomen and heated chemotherapy applied directly into the abdominal cavity, which following the procedure kills microscopic cancer cells.
The most effective way for mesothelioma patients to prolong their life expectancy is through surgery. Both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma offer surgical options. If a doctor tells a patient that they are not eligible for surgical treatment, seek another mesothelioma specialist for a second opinion.
Patients with pleural mesothelioma have the option between two surgeries – the extra-pleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and the pleurotomy with decortication (P/D). Recent studies have shown that EPP treatments have increased the overall survival rate of patients to around 27.5 months. Similar to the results of the EPP, less invasive procedure for pleural mesothelioma patients, the P/D, have extended the survival rate of pleural mesothelioma patients to about 20 months.
The most effective surgical option for peritoneal mesothelioma patients is cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). With this treatment, patients are reported to have increased their life expectancy to more than 7 years.