Cisplatin is a platinum based chemotherapy drug that has been used since 1978 to treat various cancers including malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is the most commonly diagnosed type of mesothelioma cancer, making up about two-thirds of all cases in the U.S. It develops after an abundance of asbestos fibers embed themselves into the lining of the lungs. This lining is called the pleura and provides support for the lungs and the chest cavity.
Cisplatin causes the DNA of cancer cells inside a patient’s body to begin a process called cross linking. This process prevents cancer cells from duplicating and eventually they die off. Cisplatin is administered intravenously and is likely to be used in combination with the chemotherapy drug Alimta. The combination of Cisplatin and Alimta is the only FDA approved drug that is specifically designed to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Cisplatin is typically administered only after it has been determined by doctors that surgical procedures are not an option.
Cisplatin Side Effects
Most chemotherapy drugs have the potential to cause a variety of serious side effects, and Cisplatin is no exception. It is an effective mesothelioma treatment but care must be taken to monitor and control its side effects. Cisplatin can be toxic to humans if levels get too high.
The side effects of Cisplatin are known to be significant and sometimes quite severe. Drugs designed to minimize the severity of certain side effects are usually given to patients that are being treated with Cisplatin.
Some common Cisplatin side effects that include:
- Hair loss
- Nausea / vomiting (emetogenic drug type)
- Kidney damage (nephrotoxicity) – major concern associated with the use of Cisplatin
- Nerve damage (neurotoxicity)
- Hearing loss (ototoxicity) – less common side effect
- Loss of appetite
For more information about Cisplatin and other mesothelioma treatment options, contact Mesothelioma Treatment Centers today.