Cisplatin is a chemotherapy agent most often used to treat testicular, bladder, ovarian, lung, stomach cancers as well as mesothelioma. The first drug developed in the group of medicines known as platinum containing compounds or alkylating agents, Cisplatin is administered intravenously and is often given in combination with other chemotherapy agents, especially Alimta (pemetrexid).
Cisplatin works by interfering with the growth of cancer cells, either slowing their growth or destroying them. As with all chemotherapy treatments, Cisplatin can also inhibit or damage normal cells, which can cause side effects. These can range from mild to serious, so doctors will closely monitor each patient’s response to the drug. Side effects can include kidney damage, nausea, vomiting, trouble hearing, fatigue, and a reduction in the production of red and white blood cells that can in turn increase the risk of infection and internal bleeding.
Chemotherapy is one of several treatments for mesothelioma that your doctor may choose depending on many factors, and the process of figuring out which options are best for you can be both confusing and stressful. To help you learn more about how the process works, a trained nurse is available to speak with you today.
To reduce the chance of damage to the kidneys, it is very important for patients to drink plenty of fluids and keep well hydrated. Most doctors recommend 8 to 12 glasses of liquid on the day the medicine is taken and for two days thereafter. Other IV medication is often given to keep patients from dehydrating. Additionally, patients will likely be given vitamin, mineral and other supplements to reduce the risk of depletion during treatment.
Before starting Cisplatin treatment, patients should discuss its effects on fertility and their ability to conceive after treatment. Because side effects can be serious, your doctor will take a complete history to determine if the drug is appropriate and to prescribe the correct dosage and frequency.
Choosing which chemotherapy regimen is right for you is a crucial decision that you will make with your health care team, so it’s important to work with an experienced mesothelioma physician who understands the full range of options. For more information on your treatment options and how we can advocate on your behalf, please contact the Mesothelioma Options Help Center.