How Mesothelioma Clinical Trials Can Advance Treatment
Nicole Winch | December 22, 2020
As a mesothelioma patient, clinical trials can be an important part of your treatment regimen. Participating in a clinical trial is one of the many ways to improve your overall prognosis and the likelihood of beating mesothelioma.
While there is no definitive cure for this rare cancer, clinical trials provide qualified patients with access to new and experimental treatments and medications. Not all patients may be eligible for every trial, however, there is no harm in applying until you find a match.
There are dozens of clinical trials located throughout the world who recruit mesothelioma patients. These trials are essential in furthering groundbreaking mesothelioma research. Your doctor or specialist can help you determine which clinical trial will be the most beneficial for you.
So, What is a Clinical Trial?
The National Institute on Aging defines a clinical trial as “research studies performed on people that are aimed at evaluating a medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention.” The primary reason they are conducted is to find out if a new treatment or drug is safe and effective.
Many times, clinical trials are able to determine if a new treatment is more effective and/or has any harmful side effects compared to standard treatments. This gives mesothelioma patients the chance to enroll in some of the best therapies available as well as help researchers test these new treatment options.
The end goal of clinical trials is for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve specific treatments that can be used as a standard of care for this disease. These different therapies can include:
- Specific medications
- Combination of therapies
- Quality-of-life and mental health evaluations
- Support methods
- Tests to detect the presence of mesothelioma early
Most of the procedures and treatments that are currently used today were put through clinical studies to guarantee quality and safety.
Why Should You Participate in a Clinical Trial?
Clinical trials usually take place at a specific cancer center or multiple cancer centers located throughout the U.S. and other countries. Your mesothelioma specialist or cancer center will be able to connect you with a clinical trial based on your specific case. You could also be contacted by research coordinators if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
Patients who participate in these studies will receive one-on-one care from leading mesothelioma specialists. Clinical trials can also be an alternative option for patients who have exhausted all of their traditional treatments.
Regardless of your reason for joining a trial, you are helping doctors and researchers continue to find medical breakthroughs for this rare and aggressive cancer.