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Mesothelioma Cure

Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma. However, there are several emerging treatment options that show promise in improving treatment for the cancer. There is also hope that with extended research, one of these emerging treatment options may eventually lead to a cure. Patients who are considering an emerging treatment should consult with a medical professional to determine if their case is a fit.

Medically reviewed by: Amy Fair, RN

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Searching for a Cure

Mesothelioma, like all other cancers, doesn’t have a cure yet. However, many patients have lived years (and even decades) after being diagnosed thanks to emerging and established treatments.

For decades, medical professionals and advocates have been working to identify more effective treatment options and a total cure for mesothelioma.

“Getting a mesothelioma diagnosis can be very scary. So many people go on Google and find either misinformation or information that doesn’t apply to their individual situation. Mesothelioma is not a guaranteed death sentence — there are options that you have.”

- Quote from Dr. Raja Flores, pleural mesothelioma specialist and researcher

When mesothelioma researchers began studying this cancer, all they knew was that it was linked to asbestos. There was little information on how the disease progressed and how it responded to treatment.

Far more treatment options exist today that are helping patients with mesothelioma live longer, fuller lives than was ever thought possible.

A study released in January 2024 found a drop in mesothelioma deaths between 1990 and 2019, suggesting medical advancements are already leading to better outcomes. And researchers are continuing to look for better treatments — as of March 2024, there are over 70 clinical trials recruiting mesothelioma patients.

Living a Full Life With Mesothelioma

It can be hard to hear that there’s no cure for a disease you or your loved one have been diagnosed with. But there is always hope. Many people diagnosed with mesothelioma have beaten the odds and become long-term survivors.

  • Julie Gundlach was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma over 17 years ago and leads a passionate life as an advocate, mother, and entrepreneur in St. Louis.
  • John Stahl is a retired construction worker who was diagnosed more than 4 years ago with stage 4 pleural mesothelioma (the most advanced type) and was able to resume his active lifestyle post-treatment.

Read more about Julie and John, along with other mesothelioma survivors, in our Free Mesothelioma Survivors Guide.

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Inspirational stories of patients and their families

Arthur Putt
Arthur Putt

Diagnosis: Pleural mesothelioma
Still Thriving: 5+ year survivor

Julie Gundlach with her daughter and family at a Miles for Meso race
Julie Gundlach

Diagnosis: Peritoneal mesothelioma
Still Thriving: 17+ year survivor

Pleural mesothelioma survivor John Stahl and his wife Dee Stahl
John Stahl

Diagnosis: Stage 4 pleural mesothelioma
Still Thriving: 3+ year survivor

Mary Jane Williams at a Miles for Meso race
Mary Jane Williams

Diagnosis: Peritoneal mesothelioma
Beating the Odds: 15+ year survivor

Peritoneal mesothelioma survivor Alexis Kidd and her husband Christian Kidd
Alexis Kidd

Diagnosis: Peritoneal mesothelioma
Still Thriving: 16+ year survivor

Jill Litton
Jill Litton

Diagnosis: Peritoneal mesothelioma
Still Thriving: 14+ year survivor

Learn What Helped These Survivors

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New Treatments Look for a Mesothelioma Cure

New treatment options and clinical trials could be the potential first steps to medical breakthroughs and the development of a cure for mesothelioma cancer.

Historically, the standard treatment for mesothelioma has been surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. However, emerging treatments for mesothelioma have shown promising results in extending patients’ length and quality of life. Many of these newer treatments include some that have already been approved for other types of cancer.

“Yes, people die from mesothelioma. But a lot of people go on living for years with it. My hope is to turn this into a chronic disease rather than a death sentence.”

- Quote from Dr. Andrea Wolf, pleural mesothelioma specialist and researcher

Immunotherapy and Emerging Treatments

Immunotherapy is one of the most promising new treatments for mesothelioma. In immunotherapy, patients are given medication to boost their immune system, enabling it to target and attack cancer cells more efficiently. It can also suppress a patient’s immune system to allow other types of treatments to take effect.

Download our Free Immunotherapy Guide to learn how this exciting new treatment works and when it’s used.

Other emerging treatments for mesothelioma include:

  • Epigenetic therapy: The epigenome is a record of how chemicals change in a person’s DNA, which is unique to each individual. Doctors are working to determine how cancer turns off particular anticancer mechanisms in the epigenome and how epigenetic therapy can alter these changes.
  • Gene therapy: Gene therapy is a relatively new treatment that introduces manipulated genes into the body. Gene therapy helps make other forms of cancer treatment more effective by weakening mesothelioma cells. The tumor protein p53 is one form of gene therapy that has been used to suppress cancer in some treatments.
  • Photodynamic therapy: Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, uses a photosynthesizing agent to destroy cancer. This agent is combined with wavelengths of light to create singlet oxygen, which kills cancer cells. PDT has effectively treated several forms of cancer, including mesothelioma.
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy focuses on specific molecules and proteins involved in the growth of cancer cells to keep tumors from growing or spreading.
  • Vaccines: The FDA fast-tracked the UV1 cancer vaccine for mesothelioma patients in February 2024. This vaccine holds promise to improve immune response when paired with immunotherapy.

Medical professionals and researchers continue to develop new, innovative methods for treating mesothelioma. Many of these new treatments are studied through clinical trials run by medical teams, including some of the country’s top mesothelioma doctors.

Clinical Trials

Mesothelioma clinical trials allow doctors, scientists, and researchers to try innovative treatments in a controlled setting and see if they can help patients live longer or manage their symptoms.

Licensed medical practitioners and researchers run clinical trials to evaluate new medical treatments. They are regulated by the federal government and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Doctors have criteria for determining which patients can join a clinical trial, such as the type of mesothelioma a patient has been diagnosed with. For example, a patient with pleural mesothelioma — the most common form of this cancer — may be eligible for a certain clinical trial, while a patient with the much rarer testicular mesothelioma may not be.

Clinical trials may be an option if you or your loved one is interested in pursuing new treatments, doesn’t qualify for traditional treatments, or wants to be part of the search for a mesothelioma cure.

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Improving Mesothelioma Outcomes With Surgery

Surgery is one of the standard treatment options recommended for many mesothelioma patients. Different surgeries may be available depending on your needs and treatment plan.

The most common surgeries for patients with mesothelioma are:

  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP): In an EPP, the cancerous lung is removed entirely along with certain parts of the pericardium (heart lining), diaphragm (muscle that helps you breath), and nearby lymph nodes if necessary. This is used to treat pleural mesothelioma.
  • Pleurectomy with decortication (P/D): P/D surgery allows doctors to remove the lung lining that’s been affected by cancer (called the pleura) without having to remove one or both lungs entirely. This is another common surgery for pleural mesothelioma.
  • Cytoreduction with HIPEC: This procedure combines abdominal surgery and heated chemotherapy to treat patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.

“If you catch mesothelioma early, you can spare more lung, and you can have patients who are living 10 or 15 years later.”

- Quote from Dr. Raja Flores, pleural mesothelioma specialist and researcher

Use our Free Doctor Match to find mesothelioma specialists who can see if you’re eligible for surgery.

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Get Help Finding the Right Mesothelioma Treatment

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s normal to have questions like, “is mesothelioma curable?” or even “will mesothelioma ever be curable?”

At Mesothelioma Hope, we’re committed to supporting researchers and advocates in the search for a cure. We’re also dedicated to making patients’ lives better by providing personalized medical guidance, financial assistance, and supportive care throughout their journey with mesothelioma.

Our caring, knowledgeable team of Patient Advocates is here to help you as you face this diagnosis. Call us any time at (866) 608-8933 for help finding doctors or cancer centers and guidance on everything that comes along with treatment.

If you’re not ready to talk to someone yet, you can also get our Free Mesothelioma Survivors Guide to learn which treatments have helped other patients live for many years with this cancer.

Mesothelioma Cure FAQs

Is there a cure for mesothelioma?

Although there is currently not a definitive cure for mesothelioma, research is being done across the world to improve patient outcomes. For now, doctors develop treatment plans that aim to guide patients into remission of the disease, meaning signs and symptoms of the cancer have decreased or disappeared.

One mesothelioma patient, Mary Jane Williams, reached remission and was cancer-free for over a decade after treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma. There have been many other long-term mesothelioma survivors who have lived long, happy lives.

Are we closer to a new cure for mesothelioma?

While there has been significant progress in the understanding and treatment of mesothelioma, a definitive cure remains elusive — but studies suggest we may be getting closer.

One study found a drop in death rates for mesothelioma patients between 1990 and 2019, and continued medical advancements are improving patient life expectancy and quality of life.

Are there any new treatments for mesothelioma?

Yes. New treatments are emerging every year thanks to mesothelioma doctors and researchers carefully developing effective treatment options. As of March 2024, more than 70 active clinical trials are recruiting mesothelioma patients for research.

Immunotherapy is the latest mesothelioma treatment approved by the FDA for mainstream use. This exciting treatment provides patients with immune-boosting drugs to help their body’s natural defense system recognize and attack cancer cells.

Emerging treatments being tested in clinical trials include vaccines and other types of targeted therapy.

How can I participate in a clinical trial for mesothelioma?

Clinical trials are carefully run studies to explore how mesothelioma might react to different and new treatment options. You should consult with your mesothelioma specialist to see if you may be eligible to join one of these trials.

You can also call our team at (866) 608-8933 for help finding and understanding clinical trials you may be eligible for.

Can mesothelioma be cured if caught early?

Early detection of mesothelioma can improve prognosis and expand treatment options, potentially leading to better outcomes and higher survival rates.

While early detection and intervention can lead to prolonged remission and a better quality of life, the medical community doesn’t currently recognize a definitive cure for mesothelioma at any stage.

Still, many patients have lived longer and healthier lives with early intervention and treatment.

Can you beat mesothelioma?

There are many long-term mesothelioma survivors who beat the odds and went into remission.

While there may not be a cure for mesothelioma yet, there are plenty of reasons to have hope.

Amy FairReviewed by:Amy Fair, RN

Registered Nurse (RN)

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Amy Fair, RN, is a mesothelioma nurse with over 20 years of experience offering unwavering support to patients from the moment they are diagnosed and throughout the progression of their disease. Before becoming a mesothelioma nurse, Amy spent ten years providing compassionate care via home health care.

    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.

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    Our Promise to You
    1. American Cancer Society. “Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know.” Retrieved from: Accessed on March 28, 2024.

    2. American Cancer Society. “How Targeted Therapies Are Used to Treat Cancer.” Retrieved from: Accessed on March 28, 2024.

    3. American Cancer Society. “What’s New in Malignant Mesothelioma Research?” Retrieved from: Accessed on March 28, 2024.

    4. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. (2014). “Immunotherapy for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Current Status and Future Prospects.” Retrieved from: Accessed on March 28, 2024.

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