Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Treatment - A Detailed Guide

Both diagnosing and treating malignant mesothelioma demand a meticulous and comprehensive approach, including imaging tests and biopsies. Treatment strategies, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies, are customized to individual case parameters, striving for optimal outcomes.

Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosis Tests

Doctors recommend various tests for malignant mesothelioma diagnosis. Commonly recommended tests for malignant mesothelioma include blood tests, imaging tests, and biopsies. Along with the diagnosis, some of these tests also help with disease staging, treatment planning, and treatment monitoring. The following are the different tests recommended for malignant mesothelioma diagnosis:

Medical History and Physical Examination

During a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis, a thorough medical history review and physical examination are recommended as initial steps. Gathering information about asbestos exposure, occupational history, and any presenting symptoms is crucial. The physical examination aims to identify potential signs, such as chest or abdominal abnormalities, that may warrant further investigation.

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests help obtain detailed images of the internal structures through various techniques. Imaging tests play a pivotal role in malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis and sarcomatoid mesothelioma diagnosis. The following are the different imaging tests recommended for malignant mesothelioma diagnosis:

Blood Tests

In the diagnostic journey for malignant mesothelioma, blood tests play a supportive role. While there is no specific blood test exclusively for mesothelioma, certain markers, such as mesothelin-related proteins, may be elevated in individuals with the disease. Blood tests can aid in identifying potential abnormalities and contribute to a comprehensive diagnostic assessment when considered alongside other diagnostic methods.

Tests of Fluid and Tissue Samples

To confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis, tests involving fluid and tissue samples are imperative. A biopsy, which involves extracting a small tissue sample for examination, is a definitive method. For pleural mesothelioma, thoracentesis collects fluid from the chest cavity, while peritoneal mesothelioma may involve paracentesis for abdominal fluid. These tests provide crucial insights into the cellular composition, confirming the presence of mesothelioma and guiding treatment decisions.


A biopsy is a fundamental diagnostic procedure for confirming malignant mesothelioma. It involves the removal of a small tissue sample from the suspected tumor site for microscopic examination. Biopsies are crucial for determining the mesothelioma subtype and guiding treatment decisions.

Open Surgical Biopsy

In certain cases, an open surgical biopsy may be necessary, involving a larger incision to access and collect tissue samples. This approach is reserved for situations where less-invasive methods may not yield sufficient diagnostic material.

Pulmonary Function Tests

Pulmonary function tests assess the functionality of the lungs and are essential in evaluating the impact of malignant mesothelioma on respiratory health. These tests measure lung capacity, airflow, and gas exchange, providing valuable information to guide treatment decisions and address respiratory symptoms associated with the disease.

What Are the Different Malignant Mesothelioma Treatments?

The landscape of malignant mesothelioma treatment is diverse, encompassing various modalities to address this aggressive cancer. The choice of treatment depends on factors such as cancer stage, location, and overall health. Common approaches include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, targeted therapy, and tumor-treating fields.

Chemotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Malignant mesothelioma chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, meaning it circulates throughout the body. It is often employed in mesothelioma care, either as a primary treatment or in conjunction with other modalities, aiming to control and manage the disease.

Immunotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma

Immunotherapy for malignant mesothelioma harnesses the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. This innovative approach is increasingly used in malignant mesothelioma treatment, with immune checkpoint inhibitors showing promise in enhancing the body's natural defenses against cancer.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation to target and destroy cancer cells. It is a localized treatment commonly employed to shrink tumors or alleviate symptoms. During malignant mesothelioma treatment, radiation therapy can be applied externally (external beam radiation) or internally (brachytherapy), depending on the case.


Surgery is crucial in malignant mesothelioma treatment, aiming to remove tumors and affected tissue. Depending on the type of malignant mesothelioma, different types of surgical procedures are available:

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy focuses on specific molecules involved in cancer growth. It is still not a standard malignant mesothelioma treatment; however, research studies are constantly exploring targeted therapies that may offer more personalized and effective options, particularly for individuals with specific genetic mutations.

Tumor Treating Fields

Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) is an emerging treatment modality that uses electric fields to disrupt cancer cell division. Approved for pleural mesothelioma, TTFields involve the use of a portable device that delivers electric fields to the chest area, inhibiting cell division and potentially slowing tumor growth.

Why Choose HCG for Treatment and Diagnosis of Malignant Mesothelioma?

Selecting HCG for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant mesothelioma ensures a unique blend of specialized expertise and compassionate care. HCG adopts a multidisciplinary approach, integrating advanced diagnostic technologies with a personalized treatment strategy. We have specialized malignant mesothelioma doctors who excel at offering comprehensive solutions and creating a supportive environment for navigating the complexities of their mesothelioma journey.


Recognizing the significance of early detection and tailored treatment plans is paramount in the management of malignant mesothelioma. The emphasis remains on empowering individuals to make informed choices, seek expert guidance, and explore innovative therapies for enhanced treatment outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chemotherapy is a valuable malignant mesothelioma treatment option. It can effectively shrink mesothelioma tumors and is often used in combination with other therapeutic approaches for a comprehensive impact.

The prognosis varies, but seeking prompt medical attention and undergoing timely treatment significantly impact life expectancy. Early intervention is crucial for better outcomes.

Early detection improves the chances of successful treatment; however, a complete cure depends on various factors, including the extent of the disease and individual response to treatment.

Mesothelioma commonly spreads to nearby organs and tissues, with the lungs being an initial target due to their pleural location.

Managing mesothelioma can be challenging, but advancements in medical science offer a range of treatment options, enhancing the chances of successful outcomes. The effectiveness of treatment may vary based on individual cases.

It is a fairly aggressive type of cancer with not-so-promising survival rates.

However, malignant pleural mesothelioma survival rates depend on the stage of diagnosis, the treatment administered, the treatment response, and the overall health of the patient. If these aspects are in the favor of the patient, the survival rates may be better.

The success rate of malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment depends on the stage at which it is diagnosed and treated, the type of treatment administered, the treatment response, and the patient’s overall health.

Immunotherapy is a promising treatment option for pleural mesothelioma. Evidence suggests that immunotherapy improves survival rates, shrinks the tumor, and improves the quality of life among pleural mesothelioma patients.

The side effects of biphasic mesothelioma treatment are similar to those associated with other types of mesothelioma. Patients who have undergone surgery experience pain, fatigue, bleeding, and breathing issues. Those who have undergone radiotherapy experience skin irritation, nausea, and fatigue. Those who have undergone systemic therapies may experience skin reactions, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, and fatigue.