Treatment overview

For most people, treatment is given to help control symptoms and to slow the growth of mesothelioma. Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma are treated in different ways.

Treatment for pleural mesothelioma

Treatments may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other treatments to manage the physical impacts of cancer. 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 chemotherapy, and treatments to manage symptoms (supportive therapies). Very occasionally surgery may be an option.

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 called targeted therapies and immunotherapies may be helpful to treat mesothelioma. These drugs may be given as part of a clinical trial.