Heated Chemotherapy-A Better Way of Treating Mesothelioma

Chemotherapy is one of the major forms of treatment for mesothelioma and most chemotherapy agents for the treatment of mesothelioma are administered intravenously, typically once a week or once every three or four weeks (length of time is determined by the patient's physician). There are several common chemotherapeutic medications that may be used to treat mesothelioma, including Alimta, Cisplatin, and Carboplatin.

There is however a new form of chemo that is being tested in clinical trials of treatment of mesothelioma patients. This treatment, known as heated chemotherapy, is showing some promise for the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of mesothelioma that attacks the protective lining around the abdomen. (Due to the nature of the treatment, it has been deemed inappropriate for pleural and pericardial mesothelioma.

Heated chemotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma, which is also known as heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy, is administered in a totally different method from the usual ways of giving chemotherapy.

During the heated chemotherapy procedure, a patient is treated with chemotherapeutic medications in liquid form that are administered directly into the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity). Before this can take place,the mass of the abdominal tumor is reduced by surgery.

Once the surgical procedure has been completed, chemotherapy can begin. During this part of the treatment, the patient's peritoneum is permeated with heated chemotherapeutic medications to expose all organs and tissues within the peritoneum in a uniform fashion (this ensures all affected organs receive treatment).

The chemotherapeutic drugs used in the procedure are heated to a temperature between 44 - 46 °C (111-114 F°), and the intraperitoneal environment is maintained at a temperature of approximately 42 - 43 °C (107-109 F°). The chemotherapeutic fluid is perfused in the peritoneum for one to two hours and then drained from the operation site.

This type of chemotherapy treatment has two main advantages over the standard type of chemotherapy:

First, the chemotherapeutic medications are applied directly to the affected site. This means the medications are in direct contact with tissues that are affected by mesothelioma, unlike in the usual form of chemotherapy in which the chemo drugs are given intravenously thus exposing the other healthy tissues of the body to side effects of the chemo. Injecting chemotherapeutic agents directly into the peritoneum increases their concentration at the cancer site and causes less serious side effects than traditional chemotherapy treatments.

The second important feature is the heating of the medications to the approximate temperature of the human body. Chemotherapeutic agents that are administered at body temperatures have an increased ability to penetrate tissues. This gives this form of chemo an edge over traditional chemo as traditional chemo has a problem of poor penetration of dense tumor masses.

Heated chemotherapy can only be given to peritoneal mesothelioma patients, it can not be used for the other forms of mesothelioma like the pleural and pericardial mesothelioma. Patients eligible for heated chemotherapy will be informed by their doctor and will need to discuss treatment options extensively before embarking on this form of treatment.

Bello kamorudeen.http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com


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