3 Reasons to Consider Clinical Trials

  1. Newest and Most Advanced Treatments

    Clinical trials offer patients diagnosed with mesothelioma the opportunity to try the newest and most advanced treatments available to mesothelioma patients, which could potentially result in a cure. All treatments have to go through clinical trials to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA).

  2. Specific to Certain Treatment Needs

    Clinical trials are also helpful for patients who have specific treatment needs. For example, some trials are formulated especially for late stage patients. Patients who aren’t able to undergo surgery may feel like they have few options, but there are many clinical trials that involve non-invasive and drug-based treatments. Mesothelioma patients are able to expand their treatment options greatly if they consider clinical trials.

  3. Expands Treatment Options

    At present, the FDA has only approved one treatment for those diagnosed with Mesothelioma. That lone treatment therapy is a combination of two chemotherapy drugs: pemetrexed (also called Alimta) and cisplatin. This treatment was approved by the FDA in 2004 following the completion of a clinical trial of 456 patients. This clinical trial showed higher survival rate when compared to taking cisplatin alone. Without clinical trials, this breakthrough treatment would not have been possible.

The 4 Phases of Clinical Trials

Treatments go through four phases of trials:

Phase I

The treatment is tested on a small group of patients to determine if it’s safe and effective as well as what the side effects are. It also helps doctors determine the effective dosage and delivery method.

Phase II

Researchers test the treatment on a larger group to confirm efficacy and safety on different patients.

Phase III

The treatment is tested on an even larger group of patients to collect more information about efficacy, side effects, and safety. Often, half of the group will be treated with the experimental treatment, while the other half is treated with standard treatments. This is so that researchers will be able to compare the two.

Phase IV

If the treatment passes the third phase, the FDA approves it for sale. After approval, the treatment is still subject to research to study how it affects different populations and what the long term effects are.

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