How is peritoneal mesothelioma treated?

One way to treat peritoneal mesothelioma is called "intracavitary chemotherapy," which enables clinicians to deliver higher, targeted doses of chemotherapy directly into the abdomen with fewer side effects than conventional intravenous chemotherapy.

Patients eligible for this treatment first undergo abdominal surgery to remove cancerous tissue, followed by the insertion of two ports – one on each side of the front of the body, below the ribcage. They then receive doxorubicin and cisplatin and periodic gamma interferon through the ports over the next 12 weeks.

After chemotherapy is completed, the patient undergoes a second operation during which time any remaining tumor tissue is removed, the ports are removed, and a final dose of high-temperature chemotherapy is applied. Findings of a clinical trial assessing the treatment showed that overall survival for patients receiving this therapy was 55 months, with 45 percent of patients living for at least five years.

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