Carboplatin chemotherapy has been used to treat many different cancers, including mesothelioma, since its approval by the FDA in 1989.1 Carboplatin plus pemetrexed, another chemotherapy drug, is one of the most effective chemotherapy treatments for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Carboplatin is sometimes chosen as an alternative to cisplatin, as it can have a more tolerable side effect profile.

Carboplatin’s Success in Treating Other Cancers

Carboplatin treats many other cancers, including 

  • Anal cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thymic cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Carboplatin is commonly used in a multimodal approach, meaning it is combined with other chemotherapy drugs, like pemetrexed, and other cancer therapies such as surgery and radiation. Combination treatment generally leads to better outcomes than what can be achieved with one drug or one kind of cancer therapy alone.

How Carboplatin Works

Carboplatin works to interfere with the function of a cell’s genetic material. This interference of DNA function helps keep in check the uncontrollable proliferation of cancer cells.

Side Effects of Carboplatin

Common side effects of carboplatin include

  • Low blood counts (white blood cells, healthy red blood cells, and platelets)
  • Electrolyte abnormalities (low sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium)
  • Elevated liver enzymes 
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Infection
  • Numbness and tingling 
  • Nerve pain
  • Weakness
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint ache
  • Muscle ache 
  • Fever
  • Allergic reaction2

Carboplatin Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma