Clinical trials may provide treatment for mesothelioma patients that is not available from their physician. Clinical trials are research studies involving people based on scientific research with strict guidelines and limitations. These trials are regulated by the scientists involved as well as the government.
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos are both highly resistant to many cancer treatments with prognosis after diagnosis being 6-18 months depending on the patient. For patients facing these diseases, clinical trials may provide new treatment options. The trials are designed to find better ways to diagnose, treat and hopefully find a cure for individuals suffering from an asbestos related disease.
There are different types and phases of clinical trials and all clinical trials have specific criteria for eligibility to participate. To participate, a patient must know the possible risks and benefits of the trial and sign an informed consent. To find available clinical trials go to www.clinicaltrials.gov, the website is ran by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The NIH website updates information about both federally funded and privately supported mesothelioma related clinical trials. Currently, there are somewhere between 150-200 mesothelioma related trials in various stages throughout the country.
If you are suffering from mesothelioma or lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure ask your physician if you are eligible to participate in any of these clinical trials. Participation in clinical trials will not only help advance the fight against mesothelioma and lung cancer but may provide benefits for your specific medical needs.