Clinical Trials for Malignant Mesothelioma

Clinical trials are the foundation on which new medical treatments are built. They are scientific studies that test whether a specific treatment or medication is safe and effective for human use. They are sponsored by a wide range of interested parties including institutions dedicated to science, health advocacy groups and drug manufacturers, and conducted for nearly every illness and condition with an eye to facilitating innovation and protecting patient safety.

The Clinical Trial Process

Clinical trials are conducted in stages. After a new treatment approach or medication is developed, it is tested on animals in the laboratory to determine whether it is harmful or helpful. If it works well in that setting, the testing process then moves to small groups of human patients to determine whether the protocol causes any harm, and if it does not then it moves on to testing of larger groups to assess its benefits. The goal is always to improve outcomes for the patient, but testing is valuable whether safety and effectiveness is proven or not. Learning that a treatment offers no benefit or causes harm also contributes to the body of medical knowledge.

Why Are Clinical Trials Important?

Clinical trials are a necessary part of moving medical knowledge ahead. The results of the trials are available to other researchers so that they can build on the resulting information to drive future innovations. Patients seek the opportunity to participate in clinical trials for two reasons.

  • They hope to benefit from innovative treatments that are not yet available to the public
  • They hope to advance knowledge for the benefit of future patients

How to Get Involved in a Clinical Trial

Every clinical trial is different and has a different protocol that outlines what the study’s goals are and how it will work. The protocol will include specific details about who is eligible to participate, how many participants will be included, and what type of data will be collected. If you are a patient who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, you should discuss the possibility with your physician. You can also visit various websites that list the various studies being conducted. These include:

Benefits and Risks of Participating in a Clinical Trial

People who choose to participate in a clinical trial do so with the hope that there will be a benefit from them doing so. In some cases that benefit may be having access to innovative medical protocols that are not yet generally available, or assisting in the advancement of information on which future innovations may be based. There is also a risk that a treatment will either prove harmful or provide no benefit where more traditional treatment may have prolonged the patient’s life.

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