Treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma
Treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma is given to control symptoms and to slow tumour growth.
Treatments may include chemotherapy and other treatments
sometimes known as supportive therapies.
Radiotherapy and surgery aren’t usually used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma.
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. The drugs work by disrupting the growth of cancer cells. It’s used to slow the growth of the mesothelioma and control symptoms. It may not be suitable for some people as you need to be fit enough to have it. Your doctor will let you know if it’s a suitable treatment for you.
How chemotherapy is given
The chemotherapy is usually given into a vein (intravenously). Each session of chemotherapy may last between one and a few days and is followed by a rest period of a few weeks. This is known as a cycle of treatment. The number of cycles you have will depend on your type of cancer and how well it is responding to the treatment.
The drugs that are used
The most commonly used drugs to treat peritoneal mesothelioma are the same as those for pleural mesothelioma. They include pemetrexed (Alimta®) together with cisplatin. If you have pemetrexed, you’ll be given the vitamins B12 and folic acid as these help to reduce the side effects of treatment without reducing its effectiveness.
Other chemotherapy drugs may sometimes be used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma. These may be given as part of a clinical trial.
We have more information available about these chemotherapy drugs and their side effects.
Chemotherapy can cause unpleasant side effects. However, many people have few side effects, and those that occur can often be controlled well with medicines. Find out more about the main side effects.