Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Most medical ailments can be treated in more than one way. This is especially true of cancer. Many cancer patients choose to explore several treatment options, including new or experimental techniques. In this page you can see a full list of clinical trials in mesothelioma.
You should discuss your options with your doctor or cancer care team before engaging in any experimental or alternative treatment, but acquainting yourself with any new or alternative techniques can help you discuss your case with your provider.
What Are Clinical Trials?
A clinical trial is an investigatory study of a disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as medical centers, hospitals, universities and doctors’ offices conduct clinical trials for a variety of medical conditions.
A doctor, medical researcher, or specialist will determine a specific aspect of a disease that they want to investigate. Often they will receive grants from the government or charitable organizations to fund this research. Typically the study will compare the traditional treatment of a disease with a new treatment, but sometimes the researcher is questioning the course of the disease in a particular group of patients, such as patients in a particular age group.
The researcher will solicit trial participants and group them into two or more categories. The researcher will compare the disease between the groups. For example, if the researcher is testing a new drug for cancer treatment, one group (the treatment group) will be given the new drug, and one group (the control group) will follow the traditional protocol for treatment.
It is common for the participants to have no idea which category they are in, and this is called a blind study. If the doctor and the patient are not told what category the patient is in, the study is called a double-blind study. This is done to ensure that the patient’s and the doctor’s perceptions of the treatment do not affect the results.
Who Is Eligible for Clinical Trials?
The requirements are different for each clinical trial. Eligibility may be determined by factors such as the patient’s age, stage of disease, ethnicity, race or medical history.
What Should I Expect During a Clinical Trial?
The process of a particular trial is determined by the goals of the researchers. The researchers will be a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other health care professionals. This team will interact with each participant, providing medical assessment at the beginning of the trial, monitoring throughout the trial, and follow up after the trial to compile long-term data about the patients’ progress.
Because the patient’s status is being tracked and reported, it can be a time-consuming proposition. The patient may be asked to make frequent visits to the site of the trial, maintain contact with research team members or stay in hospitals or clinical settings more than a patient would if they were not participating in a clinical trial. It is important to talk to your doctor about whether your condition will allow you to participate in the trial effectively.
How Can I Participate in Clinical Trials
Your doctor must contact one of the researchers involved in the trial and provide your medical history and details of your condition. The researchers will review your information and decide if you are eligible for the trial. The researchers use very specific criteria to identify appropriate participants so that the participants in the study will be safe, and also to increase the chances that the study will be successful. If you are not accepted for a clinical trial, this simply means that you did not fit the criteria the researchers set for that particular study.
What Are the Benefits and Risks of Participating in a Clinical Trial?
Clinical trials benefit patients by allowing them to take more active, educated roles in their own health care, participate in the development of new treatment options for their disease, and access innovative techniques and expert medical care that may not be available to them otherwise.
Of course, there are risks involved in clinical trials as well. The treatment may not be effective or may have serious side effects, such as pain or even life-threatening complications. These side effects are carefully monitored, but you should discuss them with your doctor before engaging in the trial.
How Can I Find Out More about Mesothelioma Research?
The NIH provides information to the public on ongoing clinical trials through their website. You can search available clinical trials at ClinicalTrials.gov and The National Cancer Institute.