Mesothelioma can be seen on x-ray

Pleural mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a malignant disease of the pleura and lungs. About 60-80% of the patients had occupational contact with asbestos, a mineral that was used, for example, in the construction and automotive industries. Therefore, men are more often affected by the disease than women. If the fibers are inhaled, they remain in the lungs and in the pleural space and cause long-lasting irritation there. Therefore, there can be many years between exposure to asbestos and diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.

At first, symptoms may be completely absent or very unspecific. As a patient, you feel a reduced resilience, you notice pain in the chest wall, shortness of breath or a gradual loss of weight. The x-ray often shows a build-up of fluid on one side of the chest. The malignant cells in the pleural effusion can only be detected by a puncture in every second patient. Therefore, patients with suspected pleural mesothelioma should submit to a minimally invasive thoracoscopy in an experienced thoracic surgery department. With the reflection, changes in the pleura can be seen directly and samples can be obtained for a microscopic examination.

If there is a pleural mesothelioma, each patient is presented individually to our interdisciplinary tumor board in order to work out the best therapy concept. The recommended therapy options are discussed together with the patient and also with relatives.

In principle, there are surgical and drug therapy options that are often used in combination with one another. That is why close cooperation between various specialists such as thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists and radiation therapists is necessary. Hyperthermic intrathoracic chemoperfusion (HITHOC) is a new method for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. Here, the pleura is first surgically removed and the chest is then rinsed with warm chemotherapy solution in order to kill as many tumor cells as possible. However, this treatment should only be carried out at an experienced thoracic surgery clinic in order to avoid complications.

We have many years of experience in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma and can offer all modern forms of therapy. Our specialists are happy to advise you on this.