Thursday, 7 September 2017

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

asbestoslungOne of the most crucial concerns for any patient that is diagnosed with mesothelioma is how they can treat it. Currently, there is no effective cure for the disease, and while options like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are use to combat this cancer, their efficacy depends on a large number of factors and their use does not always result in an extended life span. For patients who are looking for the best chance of survival, one option to consider is enrollment in a clinical trial.

How do Clinical Trials Work?

Clinical trials must follow a set of guidelines laid out by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) in order to be considered for public use. These guidelines govern how the treatment is given, who it is given to, and how results are complied.
Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
There are three stages to any clinical trial, regardless of the type of treatment being tested. Drugs, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy or any combination of treatments are all governed by the same rules. In the first stage of the trial, doctors attempted to determine how much of the new drug can be given safely or how often a new treatment can be used. The size of the patient group in this stage is quite small, and side effects are closely monitored.

In the second stage of clinical trials, a larger group may be used, and those participating will be monitored for any anticancer effects that are delivered by the drugs or treatment. Cancer sites are measured at the beginning and the end of the stage to see what, if any, effects the treatment may have.

The final stage of a clinical trial will involve a larger group of patients, some of whom will be given a standard treatment (the control group) and some who will be given the new treatment. This is done in order to counter what is known as the “placebo effect”, in which patients often experience improvement in mesothelioma symptoms if they are told a drug or treatment is going to help them, even if it has no tangible benefit. Patients involved in stage three clinical trials will often not know which group they are in until the study is over, and all those involved will be monitored for any serious side-effects. If this stage is a success and the treatment shows some efficacy, a company can then apply to have the treatment recognized by the FDA.

Qualifying for a Clinical Trial

There are a number of factors that can affect eligibility for a clinical trial, including prior treatments, current medical condition, co-morbidity with other illnesses, age, and gender. Each clinical trial will be seeking a different group of participants, and not all trials will be of benefit for patients. In consultation with their mesothelioma specialist, patients can find the trials that are right for them.

Contact us today for more information about mesothelioma clinical trials, and learn about the new treatments being researched in your area to help fight this cancer.

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