Mesothelioma Clinical Trials Offer Hope for Patients
You can find dozens of mesothelioma clinical trials going on at any one time in the United States, but determining which ones might help you will require careful screening by you and your doctor or health care team. Although there may be many mesothelioma clinical trials that are ongoing, most have very specific guidelines or are testing a very specific treatment, which means there may only be a few that you would be allowed to participate in.
How Do Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Work?
It’s very important to understand the nature of mesothelioma clinical trials. Most focus on either increasing the life span or the comfort of mesothelioma patients; as yet there is no known cure for this disease, not even at the clinical level. Clinical trials focus on determining how much of a particular drug or treatment is needed in order to be both safe and effective. In a clinical trial a new treatment is often compared to a conventional one. To do this, some patients in
mesothelioma cancer trials are given the new treatment while others are in a control group using more conventional methods. Because of the serious nature of mesothelioma cancer, you will seldom find clinical trials that give any patient a placebo.
If a clinical trial is conducted under the auspices of the National Cancer Institute or the federal government, it will probably be covered by insurance. In many cases, the company sponsoring the clinical trial (such as the drug manufacturing company or research foundation) will pay for the costs of all medications and doctors’ visits. Look for mesothelioma cancer trials that are overseen by either the National Cancer Institute or the government to guarantee proper monitoring and care.
Finding the Right Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Not every clinical trial will be right for the specific type of cancer you have. For instance, some trials focus only on peritoneal mesothelioma, some may only take patients who have not yet tried certain other treatments (such as surgery) and still others may focus only on very issues.
One such clinical trial is the trial for alpha lipoic acid for mesothelioma. This clinical trial is currently testing whether alpha lipoic acid can help reduce the symptoms of neuropathy in patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for mesothelioma. It is seeking patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and have displayed symptoms of neuropathy (heightened sensitivity and pain and tingling sensations) as a result. Some mesothelioma clinical trials combine two different therapies in varying concentrations to determine whether they work well as adjuncts to one another.
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After signing up for a clinical trial, you will go through formal mesothelioma staging to determine whether you fit the parameters of the trial. If you are accepted, you will begin treatment according to very specific guidelines and will not be permitted to undergo any other treatments outside of the trial. Your progress will be closely monitored, so you will be getting the highest level of care possible.
Since there is not yet a cure for mesothelioma, many patients feel that clinical trials give them the most hope for a longer life and comfortable lifestyle. If you or your loved one feels this way, be sure to discuss your options with your doctor. You can also go to the National Cancer Institutes homepage at www.cancer.gov or you can check with the National Institutes of Health, which keeps an updated list of mesothelioma clinical trials at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
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