The standard treatment for pleural mesothelioma is chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is typically not used because radiation to the lining of the lung has many side effects that are often severe, including damage to the lung (pneumonitis).
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a highly targeted way of delivering radiation, has been shown to cause fewer side effects than standard radiation therapy. IMRT specifically targets the lining of the lung, reducing the risk of damaging the lung itself.
The purpose of this study is to assess the safety of standard chemotherapy followed by IMRT in patients with previously untreated malignant pleural mesothelioma. This treatment approach is not intended as a cure for this cancer, but could potentially keep the tumor under control longer than standard chemotherapy alone.