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Common Terms Associated With Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Treatment

Adjuvant chemotherapy

chemotherapy given as an additional mode of treatment (often after or in conjunction with surgery), to help control microscopic disease that remains. The goal of adjuvant chemotherapy is to prevent recurrence of the cancer.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy

chemotherapy given prior to surgery in an attempt to shrink the tumor, making the odds of successful surgery more likely.

First-line or standard chemotherapy

chemotherapy that has been tested in the clinical trial system, has met FDA approval standards for safety and effectiveness and has been determined to have the best results in treating a specific cancer. The combination of Alimta and Cisplatin is considered the best first-line treatment for mesothelioma.

Second-line chemotherapy

chemotherapy given after a first-line therapy has failed. Alimta/Cisplatin may be used as second-line therapy in treating non-small cell lung cancers.

Palliative chemotherapy

chemotherapy given for the purpose of treating symptoms of the cancer (such as pain or shortness of breath) without expectation of significantly reducing the tumor.

Combination chemotherapy

chemotherapy that uses more than one drug to kill cancer cells, with the goal of increasing effectiveness.

Single-agent chemotherapy

chemotherapy that uses only one drug to kill cancer cells. Alimta may sometimes be recommended as a single-agent for patients who are too elderly or frail to tolerate the combination of Alimta/ Cisplatin.

Chemotherapy cycle

the time between one treatment and the next. Alimta/Cisplatin is normally given in 21-day cycles.

Median Survival

the length of time from initial diagnosis or beginning of treatment until death.

Response Rate

the percentage of patients who experience shrinkage of the tumor, or where the disease is kept stable.

Time to Progression

the length of time after diagnosis or beginning of treatment until the treatment is no longer effective or there is recurrence of the cancer.


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