Some of the treatment options for pericardial mesothelioma may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or dual therapy, a combination of any of these procedures. Chosen treatment procedures are based on the severity of the disease, the region of the cancer, and the size of any existing tumors.

Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy

The primary treatments used to treat pericardial mesothelioma are radiation therapy and chemotherapy. One drawback of both types of treatments is that they do pose a risk of destroying healthy cells, as well as cancer cells. In some cases physicians use surgery to remove cancer cells; however, this does not guarantee that all cancer cells are removed and some may be left behind in surrounding regions.

Radiation therapy has been shown to be extremely effective in patients with pericardial mesothelioma and is used to destroy cancer cells. This method can be dangerous for pericardial mesothelioma patients because it is used in close proximity to the heart and lungs. For this reason, lower doses of radiation may be used, thus sometimes making it difficult to have an effect on the disease.

Chemotherapy is the most effective treatment when it comes to curing or controlling the cancer cells. This method uses drugs to destroy the cells. These drugs do cause negative side effects in patients so new drugs are always under examination. The primary goal is to develop a combination of chemotherapy drugs that improve success rates while reducing negative side effects.


There are two main types of surgical procedures used for pericardial mesothelioma treatment. Aggressive surgery is primarily used on patients that are physically strong enough to undergo this type of surgery. It is a dangerous procedure that entails removing sections of cancer cells from the cancerous region in the body. This method can be dangerous for the patient since it involves working closely to the vital organs (lungs and heart).

Palliative surgery is another type of surgical method used for pericardial mesothelioma patients and is used primarily for keeping them comfortable by reducing negative symptoms of cancer. This method is especially used when a patient has been diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma in its late stages.

There is another surgical procedure that is frequently used to reduce fluid build-up in the tissues surrounding the heart. This condition causes inflammation and in turn causes the patient to experience pressure and discomfort in the chest. The “fine needle aspiration” procedure is commonly used for reducing fluid in the pericardium since it has been shown to be very effective and poses a low risk to the patient. A fine needle is inserted into the patient’s chest cavity to remove the fluid. This treatment may sometimes be performed multiple times on a patient for fluid reduction.

Dual Therapy

The use of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy is known as “dual therapy”. This method uses surgery to get rid of most of the cancer cells. It is used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to destroy any cancer cells that remain. This combined therapy method is primarily used in cases where a patient is physically able to undergo the combination of harsh procedures.
Treatment Selection

A physician commonly chooses the best treatment methods and procedures based on a patient’s individual circumstances. The treatment success is dependent on what stage of the cancer the patient is in, as well as, the patient’s overall general health.

Pericardial Mesothelioma and Alternative Therapies

Although traditional procedures are commonly used for the treatment of pericardial mesothelioma, there are cases when physicians use some alternative therapies to help patients get through the treatment phase.

It is not uncommon for patients to experience negative side effects from traditional procedures or medications during cancer treatments. Some physicians use alternative treatment therapies to help patients cope with side effects such as nausea, pain, anxiety, stress, or other discomfort.

Some of the alternative treatments used for pericardial mesothelioma patients may include acupuncture, dietary supplements, massage, meditation, and yoga. These therapies may be used in conjunction with other treatment methods.

Many alternative treatment therapies have not been perfected and are being monitored in clinical trials. A physician may recommend that a patient get involved in a trial since pericardial mesothelioma is considered a rare cancer and the medical community is still gathering information about the disease and how to treat it. Typically, a treating physician monitors a patient while he or she participates in alternative therapies to ensure the patient does not experience additional negative effects.

Other recommendations may include natural methods that include immunotherapy and gene therapy. These procedures use the normal processes of the body to help produce healthy cells and eliminate cancer cells. There has been some success using these methods; although, there is still extensive study taking place in this field. Even though alternative treatments may not “cure” a patient’s cancer, they have been shown to help improve a patient’s attitude and overall quality of life.