Radiation therapy is a commonly used treatment for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Radiation therapy kills cancer cells with high-energy rays. These rays contain ionized particles that damage the DNA of cancerous cells, which in turn leads to their death. As the cancerous cells die, the tumors shrink, which prevents the cancer from spreading or returning. In addition, it provides significant pain relief to the patient.
Since mesothelioma tumors grow near sensitive organs like the lungs and heart, it can be difficult to apply radiation therapy. This difficulty has led to the development of advanced and unique radiation techniques described more fully below.