Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
By Sandra Oertell, Guest Editor

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, clinical trials may be one answer to your treatment. However, before you jump into anything, you need to learn about the process involved for qualifying for a clinical trial, what it takes to become eligible, and what will be expected of you if you are chosen for the trial.

A clinical trial is a study that is done on humans, rather than or after trials using animals, that determines the effectiveness and the safety of a new drug or treatment. It is a major decision to involve your self in one…it should be discussed thoroughly with your doctors, your family, and your friends. Don’t ever accept being part of a mesothelioma clinical trials if you have any questions that have gone unanswered, or if you have any doubts.

The potential is there for both risk and benefit, and you need to weigh this truth carefully. Travel may be necessary, since most of these trials are at the larger cancer centers or university cancer clinics. You will have to go there for routine tests as well as treatment, but there are advantages. You will gain access to newer drugs than are presently on the market, and will be working with the top doctors in their field.

But you must be aware that the drugs and treatments used in mesothelioma clinical trials are not tried and true and may not be effective. There is also the possibility that you will be placed in a group that is given placebos, though that is not the norm in trials for cancer. And they may also place you in a group that is getting traditional treatment for comparison purposes. This is not done by your choice.

Eligibility, unfortunately, varies depending on who is paying for the clinical trial. If it is being financed by a pharmaceutical company that has a pill it wants approved immediately by the FDA, they are going to want patients who have the greatest possibility of succeeding in the clinical trials.

Mesothelioma has a poor record of survival, so your age, what stage the cancer is in, your general health in all other respects, and whether or not you have already started other treatment will all be part of their decision.

When you are part of a clinical trial, it usually will not cover all of your expenses…even if you are already on Medicare. Those trials that are for prevention of cancer will not be covered. But trials funded by NCI-Sponsored Clinical Trials Cooperative Groups, any NCI cancer centers, or the National Cancer Institute itself, along with some other federally funded trials will be.

Still, you will accrue expenses that will be yours to deal with. Mesothelioma clinical trials may be right for you…but investigate them thoroughly before making a decision.

For more information about how Mesothelioma clinical trials work, click the book below.

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

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