Suggested links

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have an average life expectancy of 53 months, or nearly 4.5 years, if they get surgery. Some patients can even live for 15 years or more with proper medical care, becoming long-term survivors. Mesothelioma Hope can help you get top treatments to improve your peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Jenna Tozzi, RN

Last updated:

What Is the Life Expectancy of Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Doctors measure life expectancy as the number of months or years a person is projected to live after being diagnosed with an illness or other health condition.

Average Life Expectancy With and Without Treatment
  • With Treatment: 53 months
  • No Treatment: 6-12 months
Sources: Cancer Management and Research, Cancer Therapy Advisor

Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the peritoneum (abdominal lining). This cancer is very aggressive, but patients have an average life expectancy of 53 months (nearly 4.5 years) if they get treated with cytoreductive surgery and heated chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Each patient’s journey with mesothelioma is unique, and while some may face more challenges than others, there is always hope for a longer and more fulfilling life.

Peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy can vary based on:

  • Cancer spread
  • Age and overall health of the patient
  • Mesothelioma cell type

The most important factor that impacts life expectancy is getting treatment. Some peritoneal mesothelioma patients who were originally given months to live went on to become 15+ year survivors thanks to medical care from top doctors.

Find the best ways to improve your malignant peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy by ordering our Free Mesothelioma Guide, shipped overnight.

Mesothelioma Guide Images
Get Your Free Peritoneal Mesothelioma Guide
  • Symptoms & staging
  • Average prognosis
  • Life-extending treatments

Get Your Free Guide

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy vs. Survival Rate

Life expectancy and survival rates are the two main ways doctors measure mesothelioma prognosis (expected health outcome). Peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy is the anticipated amount of time that patients can expect to live with peritoneal mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma survival rate represents the percent of patients with peritoneal mesothelioma who live for a specified period and is usually measured in years. The 5-year peritoneal mesothelioma survival rate is 65%, according to Moffitt Cancer Center.

Further, when patients receive cytoreduction with HIPEC and follow-up regional chemotherapy, the 5-year survival rate jumps to 80%, as noted by a 2022 study led by top peritoneal mesothelioma specialist Dr. Paul Sugarbaker.

Factors Affecting Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Several factors influence the life expectancy of peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Learn about these factors below.

Mesothelioma Cell Type

There are three mesothelioma cell types, and some are easier to treat than others. As a result, patients may have a longer or shorter life expectancy depending on which type of cells make up their tumors.

These include:

  • Epithelioid cells: This is the most common cell type and the easiest to treat. An epithelioid peritoneal mesothelioma patient treated with surgery and chemotherapy lived for over 31 months total, according to a 2021 Medicine report.
  • Sarcomatoid cells: This is the rarest cell type and spreads very quickly, making it harder to treat. Sarcomatoid peritoneal mesothelioma patients live for 5 months on average, according to an American Journal of Surgical Pathology report.
  • Biphasic cells: In this type, both sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells are found in a tumor. A biphasic patient treated with chemotherapy and immunotherapy was still alive 6 months later, according to a Case Reports in Pathology study. But, the cancer was still spreading and the patient was later moved to hospice (end-of-life) care.

Oncologists (cancer doctors) can recommend peritoneal mesothelioma treatments that may help extend your life expectancy no matter your cell type.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer Stage

A doctor reviews a patient's imaging scan

There isn’t an official staging system for peritoneal mesothelioma, but doctors can classify cases as “localized” or “advanced” depending on cancer spread.

Patients with localized or early-stage peritoneal mesothelioma may live for roughly 4.5 years on average if treated with cytoreduction with HIPEC.

Patients with advanced-stage peritoneal mesothelioma usually can’t get cytoreduction with HIPEC since cancer metastasis (spread) has already occurred. However, other treatments like chemotherapy can still be used to try and help the patient live longer.

Paul was diagnosed with advanced peritoneal mesothelioma in 1997 and given just 6 months to live. Paul decided to use holistic treatments and is still alive more than 25 years later. He is one of the longest-living mesothelioma survivors.

Age & Overall Health at Time of Diagnosis

Younger patients in good overall health may be better candidates for aggressive treatments that can help them live longer.

Older patients often have other pre-existing health conditions at the time of their diagnosis, which may limit their treatment options.

Doctors can recommend the best treatments to improve peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy, factoring in the patient’s age and health.

Find skilled peritoneal mesothelioma doctors near you who can help you live longer. Use our Free Doctor Match to get started.

Mesothelioma doctor talking with an older couple
Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match

We'll help you connect with a local mesothelioma specialist for personalized treatment.

Find a Doctor Near You

Treatments to Improve Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

Different treatments allow doctors to remove tumors and destroy cancer cells, which may allow you to live longer. Learn about life-extending peritoneal mesothelioma treatments below.

Cytoreduction With HIPEC

Cytoreduction with HIPEC combines surgery and chemotherapy and is the most effective way to improve peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy.

Doctors first remove all cancer tumors from the abdominal cavity using cytoreductive surgery. Then, they soak the abdomen with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). This helps destroy microscopic cancer cells that the surgery didn’t remove.

Patients can live for an average of 4 and a half years (53 months) by undergoing cytoreduction with HIPEC, according to a report published in Cancer Management and Research.

Further, several patients who received this treatment combination have lived for over 15 years. Julie Gunlach underwent cytoreduction with HIPEC five times since her diagnosis in 2006 and her cancer is now stable.

“Keep the faith and keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

– Julie Gundlach, 17+ year mesothelioma survivor

Other Life-Extending Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatments

Outside of cytoreduction with HIPEC, doctors can use other treatments that may help improve the life expectancy of peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

These include:

  • Chemotherapy: Doctors may use chemotherapy alone if the patient can’t have surgery. In one case, a peritoneal mesothelioma patient was still alive over 59 months after receiving the chemotherapy drugs pemetrexed and cisplatin. However, cytoreduction surgery with HIPEC is usually more effective, and you may not have the same outcome as this patient.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs boost the immune system’s response to destroy cancer cells. Patients treated with the immunotherapy drug Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) and chemotherapy lived for nearly 21 months on average, as noted by a 2023 study published in JAMA Network Open.
  • Clinical trials: These studies test new therapies and treatment combinations that may improve peritoneal mesothelioma cancer survival rates and life expectancies. For example, the ICARuS II trial is looking to see if patients who receive cytoreduction with HIPEC and then additional chemotherapy will see an increase in survival.

Your cancer care team can work with you to determine the best treatment approach for your case.

Contact us today to get help finding treatments that can help extend your peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy. Our Patient Advocates and registered nurses have relationships with top doctors and can quickly connect you or a loved one.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy Without Treatment

Without treatment, the average peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy is 6-12 months, according to a 2020 study published in Translational Lung Cancer Research.

Because of this, peritoneal mesothelioma patients are strongly encouraged to visit a specialist to see if they qualify for life-extending treatments. Remember: getting treatment is the best way to live longer with peritoneal mesothelioma.

Patients Who Have Outlived Their Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancies

Many peritoneal mesothelioma patients have lived longer than expected after seeking treatment from a specialist. These patients are considered long-term mesothelioma survivors, some of whom are still living full lives 15+ years after their diagnosis.

Some of these peritoneal mesothelioma survivors include:

  • Julie Gundlach, 17+ year survivor

    Julie Gundlach was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2006 at the age of 35. She suffered asbestos exposure (the only known cause of this cancer) because her father came home coated in asbestos dust while working as an electrician.

    Given just 6-12 months to live, Julie sought aggressive treatment in the hopes that she’d live to see her daughter grow up. After undergoing multiple rounds of treatment — including five cytoreductive surgeries — her cancer is now considered stable, meaning it’s not growing.

  • Mary Jane Williams, 15-year survivor

    Mary Jane Williams suffered from abdominal swelling and weight loss before her peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis in 2003. Doctors originally told her nothing could be done, until she found a cancer specialist who could help her.

    Mary Jane made over 40 trips between her home state of Ohio and New York for cancer treatments, including two surgeries and five months of chemotherapy. After her second surgery, Mary Jane was declared cancer-free and remained so until her death from Alzheimer’s in 2018.

  • Alexis Kidd, 16+ year survivor

    Alexis Kidd was devastated to learn that she had peritoneal mesothelioma at the age of just 37 following gallbladder surgery. She was given between 6 months and 2 years to live.

    Alexis’ doctor learned how to perform cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC from Dr. Paul Sugarbaker — the renowned mesothelioma specialist who invented the treatment. Alexis is still alive more than 16 years later thanks to it.

Use our Free Doctor Match to find a local specialist who can recommend treatments that can help you live longer.

Mesothelioma doctor talking with an older couple
Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match

We'll help you connect with a local mesothelioma specialist for personalized treatment.

Find a Doctor Near You

Improving Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy

While many peritoneal mesothelioma cases are aggressive, you may be able to live longer with this cancer with the right medical care.

Here are 3 tips to improve your peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy:

  1. Address symptoms promptly: See a doctor as soon as you start to experience symptoms of this cancer. By doing so, you could be diagnosed before the cancer spreads, which means you’ll have more life-extending treatments available.
  2. Go to a mesothelioma specialist: Once you’re diagnosed, see a doctor who specifically treats peritoneal mesothelioma. They can recommend the best options to help you live as long as possible. Get started with our Free Doctor Match.
  3. Ask about your treatment options: Cytoreduction with HIPEC is the gold standard in treating this cancer, helping patients live for 4+ years or longer. Ask your doctor which treatments will be best in your case.

Mesothelioma Hope’s registered nurses and Patient Advocates can help you find the best doctors, hospitals, and treatments for peritoneal cancer.

Call (866) 608-8933 now to connect with us and find ways to improve your peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy and quality of life.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Life Expectancy FAQs

How long can you live with peritoneal mesothelioma?

You might be able to live for many years with peritoneal mesothelioma depending on your treatment plan.

The median survival of peritoneal mesothelioma patients is 53 months when treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Some cancer patients live 15 years or more with this treatment combination.

Peritoneal mesothelioma patients live for 6 to 12 months without treatment.

Is peritoneal mesothelioma terminal?

Peritoneal mesothelioma is not always terminal, with patients living for decades in certain cases. This cancer is very aggressive, though, and can quickly become terminal without the appropriate medical care.

For this reason, patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma are highly encouraged to see a doctor and get treatments that can lead to a longer‌ survival time.

Can peritoneal mesothelioma be cured?

There isn’t a universal cure for peritoneal mesothelioma at this time, but some patients might be considered cured on a case-by-case basis with the right treatment.

Peritoneal mesothelioma specialist Dr. Eugene Choi noted that patients can potentially be cured using cytoreduction with HIPEC in an interview with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

Contact us now to find top treatments that can improve your peritoneal mesothelioma life expectancy.

Can peritoneal mesothelioma go into remission?

Yes. Though rare, peritoneal mesothelioma can go into remission.

Mary Jane Williams achieved remission after receiving cytoreductive surgery with heated chemotherapy (HIPEC). After getting this treatment, the cancer never returned.

Another patient had complete remission from peritoneal mesothelioma after receiving immunotherapy and chemotherapy, according to a study published by BMJ Case Reports in December 2023.

Ask your doctor about treatments and therapies that could help send your cancer into remission and extend your overall survival.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

Our Promise to You
Our Promise to You
  1. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  2. Du, X., et al. (2021, March 26). Clinicopathological characteristics of primary peritoneal epithelioid mesothelioma of clear cell type. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  3. Elghali, M., et al. (2021, February 4). Prolonged survival with systemic chemotherapy in an advanced malignant mesothelioma: A case report. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  4. Enomoto, L., et al. (2019, May 7). Cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma: patient selection and special considerations. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  5. Greenbaum, A. & Alexander, H.R. (2020, February 9). Peritoneal mesothelioma. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  6. Hassan, D. & Ligato, S. (2019, July 28). Localized Biphasic Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma with Rhabdoid Features Involving the Liver: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  7. Kepenekian, V., et al. (2021, October 28). Non-resectable Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treated with Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) Plus Systemic Chemotherapy Could Lead to Secondary Complete Cytoreductive Surgery: A Cohort Study. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  8. Kim, J., et al. (2017, June 5). Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: a review. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  9. Lee, J., et al. (2023, December 22). Complete clinical remission of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma with systemic pemetrexed and bevacizumab in a patient with a BAP1 mutation. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  10. Marmarelis, M., et al. (2023, March 1). Clinical Outcomes Associated With Pembrolizumab Monotherapy Among Adults With Diffuse Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  11. Moffitt Cancer Center. (n.d.). Mesothelioma Survival Rate. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  12. Pavlisko, E., &. Roggli, V. (n.d.). Sarcomatoid Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Clinicopathologic Correlation of 13 Cases. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
  13. Sugarbaker, P.H. (2022, March 16). Long-term Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy for Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
Free 30-Minute ConversationWith Jenna Tozzi, RN
Fill Out Your Contact Information
How We Can Help

Mesothelioma Hope is passionate about helping patients and families affected by this aggressive cancer. A mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary and isolating, but we’re here for you at every step. Hope is only a phone call away.

(866) 608-8933
Medical Guidance
  • Get a second opinion
  • Find a doctor or cancer center
  • Access clinical trials
  • Improve your quality of life
Financial Assistance
  • Access $30 billion in trust funds
  • File a mesothelioma claim
  • Increase your VA benefits
  • Apply for travel grants
Supportive Care
  • Find a support group or peer mentor
  • Get help with daily tasks
  • Explore respite care options
  • Navigate life post-treatment