Mesothelioma treatment

Your doctors look at different factors to help decide which treatments are likely to work best for you.

Treatment overview

It is rarely possible to cure mesothelioma. Treatment is given to help control symptoms and to slow the growth of mesothelioma.

Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma are treated in different ways. A team of health professionals will work with you to plan the treatment that is best for your mesothelioma diagnosis.

We understand that having treatment can be a difficult time for people. We're here to support you. If you want to talk, you can:

Treatment for pleural mesothelioma

Treatments may include:

Treatments to manage symptoms are sometimes called supportive therapies. Very occasionally, if mesothelioma is diagnosed before it has spread or if it has only spread to nearby tissues, surgery may be an option. This is not common as mesothelioma has usually spread before diagnosis.

Treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma

Treatment may include:

If you are having surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma, your doctor may suggest having chemotherapy into the tummy (abdomen) during the surgery. This is called HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy).

Clinical trials

Cancer research trials are carried out to try to find new and better treatments for cancer. Trials that involve patients are known as clinical trials.

Doctors are researching whether other types of treatments may be helpful to treat mesothelioma. These drugs may be given as part of a clinical trial.

About our information

  • References

    Below is a sample of the sources used in our mesothelioma information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

    Woolhouse I et al. British Thoracic Society Guideline for the investigation and management of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Thorax. 2018.

    Thomas A et al. Mesothelioma. BMJ Best Practice. 2019.

    Baas P et al. Malignant pleural mesothelioma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.  Annals of Oncology. 26 (Supplement 5): v31–v39. 2015. Available from: www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26223247

    Kusamara S et al. Peritoneal mesothelioma: PSOGI/EURACAN clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. European Journal of Surgical Oncology. March 2020.


  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr David Gilligan, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.