High-Energy Radiotherapy Treatment for Mesothelioma

High-Energy Radiotherapy Treatment for Mesothelioma

A new Italian study found that accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy was an effective and safe treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

The patients in this study lived longer and had a lower risk of MPM coming back.

Treatment Approaches

MPM is a rare cancer that is difficult to treat. It develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs and chest wall. MPM is caused by exposure to asbestos.

Since MPM is a rare disease, the standard therapies are limited. The treatment plan for MPM depends on a few different factors. The stage of cancer, cell type of the cancer, and the health of the patient all affect what treatments will work the best.

The most common treatment approach uses more than one type of therapy. This can be surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. When more than one of these therapies is used, it may be called multimodal therapy.

Understanding Radiotherapy

Accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It is called “accelerated” because the treatment is given over a shorter period than traditional radiation therapy. It is also called “hypofractionated” because the treatment gives larger doses of radiation in each session.

This study looked at 20 patients with MPM who were treated with accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy. The researchers aimed to measure how effective this therapy was in shrinking tumor size. They also wanted to find out if accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy caused any side effects.

The patients in this study received chemotherapy before accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy. The radiation treatment lasted for five days.

The researchers did not see any major side effects in patients after being treated with accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy. Some patients ended up with fatigue, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

The one-year overall survival rate was 85% and the three-year overall survival rate was nearly 50%.

The researchers think that accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy could be an important therapy after surgery in MPM patients.


Parisi E, Arpa D, Ghigi G, et al. Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Preliminary Toxicity Results of Adjuvant Radiotherapy Hypofractionation in a Prospective Trial (MESO-RT). Cancers (Basel). 2023;15(4):1057. Published 2023 Feb 7. doi:10.3390/cancers15041057. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9954648/

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