Cyclophosphamide chemotherapy is not a first-line or approved off-label treatment for mesothelioma. It is still being researched for this purpose. However, cyclophosphamide has been used in combination with other treatments, particularly immunotherapy, to effectively treat malignant pleural mesothelioma within the clinical trial setting.1

Cyclophosphamide’s Success in Treating Other Cancers

Cyclophosphamide has been successful in treating many other cancers, including 

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Central nervous system tumors 
  • Desmoplastic small round cell tumor
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Wilms tumor

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

How Cyclophosphamide Works

Cyclophosphamide works to inhibit cell division and decrease the synthesis of a cell’s genetic material, helping the immune system keep in check the uncontrollable proliferation of cancer cells. Cyclophosphamide also works to inhibit the immune system’s suppressive function of the antitumor immune response, leading to an enhanced cancer-fighting response.  

Side Effects of Cyclophosphamide

Common side effects of cyclophosphamide include

  • Low blood counts (white blood cells, healthy red blood cells, and platelets)
  • Hormonal abnormalities 
  • Skin rash
  • Sore and inflamed mouth 
  • Ulceration of the mouth and elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract 
  • Hair loss 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hemorrhagic cystitis
  • Infection
  • Sterility2

Cyclophosphamide Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma