High-energy radiation therapy for mesothelioma

A new Italian study found that accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy is an effective and safe treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

Patients in this study lived longer and had a lower risk of MPM recurrence.

treatment approaches

MPM is a rare cancer that is difficult to treat. It develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs and chest wall. MPM is caused by asbestos.

Because MPM is a rare disease, standard therapies are limited. The treatment plan for MPM depends on a few different factors. The stage of the cancer, the cell type of the cancer, and the patient’s health all affect which treatments work best.

The most common treatment approach uses more than one type of therapy. This can be surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. When more than one of these therapies is used, it can be referred to as multimodal therapy.

understand radiotherapy

Accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It is called “accelerated” because the treatment is given over a shorter period of time than traditional radiation therapy. It is also called “hypofractionated” because the treatment involves the delivery of larger doses of radiation in each session.

This study evaluated 20 patients with MPM treated with accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy. The researchers wanted to measure how effective this therapy was in reducing tumor size. They also wanted to find out if accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy causes side effects.

Patients in this study received chemotherapy prior to accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy. The irradiation lasted five days.

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Researchers saw no major side effects in patients after they were treated with accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy. Some patients have experienced fatigue, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

The 1-year overall survival rate was 85% and the 3-year overall survival rate was almost 50%.

The researchers believe that accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy could be an important therapy after surgery in MPM patients.


Parisi E, Arpa D, Ghigi G, et al. Malignant pleural mesothelioma: preliminary toxicity results of adjuvant radiotherapy hypofractionation in a prospective study (MESO-RT). Cancer (Basel). 2023;15(4):1057. Published February 7, 2023. doi:10.3390/cancers15041057. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9954648/