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The Link Between Surgery and Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

The Link Between Surgery and Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

A study from the Journal of Clinical Oncology has reviewed the link between radiotherapy and surgery. This is exciting new research in mesothelioma treatment. The study was conducted by mesothelioma experts in Australia.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that rarely responds to a single cancer therapy. Malignant mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Usually, that happens in the workplace.

Exciting New Research

There is ongoing research exploring surgical options for mesothelioma. There are two common surgical procedures for mesothelioma: extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy decortication.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy involves removing the lung affected by mesothelioma. Part of the diaphragm and the linings of the lung and heart are also removed.

Pleurectomy decortication is a two-part surgical procedure to treat mesothelioma. The first stage removes the membrane surrounding the lung. The second stage removes diseased tissue that has grown on or around the lung.

The study authors found that there are conflicting guidelines for these treatments. We need more research to determine the best treatment options for mesothelioma patients.

Developing New Treatment Options

Radiotherapy is usually used to provide relief from mesothelioma symptoms. This study discovered that radiotherapy could play a larger role in multimodal therapy. Multimodal therapy combines surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Sometimes, mesothelioma cannot be removed from a patient. New research suggests that in this case, emerging chemotherapy pathways can improve survival.

A new device called NovoTTF is being developed to slow the spread of mesothelioma. It uses electric fields to disrupt cancer cell division. The patients wears the device on their body and it may cause some skin irritation.

Immunotherapy has emerged as a promising treatment for mesothelioma. Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the immune system itself to fight cancer.

The study concludes that we need more clinical trials to find out how to combine new treatments with surgery and radiotherapy options. The link between surgery and radiotherapy for mesothelioma treatment shows promise.


Leal JL, Hoang W, Xue J, Dunne B, John T, Harden S. What’s Current and What’s New in Mesothelioma? Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2022 Nov;34(11):771-780. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2022.08.029. Epub 2022 Sep 22. PMID: 36155156.

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