Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are currently ongoing in the effort to find a cure for malignant mesothelioma. These trials are made up of research studies that evaluate possible new treatments effectiveness. safely, in the hope that one day a cure will be found. Although clinical trials offer no guarantee of success and require some degree of risk, they often involve the newest technology and research. In addition, researchers do not undertake these trials without a belief that the results will have some value in treating mesothelioma. Below is a list of current treatment research.
Chemotherapy drugs have been combined with successful results in treating other forms of cancer, and show mixed results in treating mesothelioma. Recently, a study was conducted to evaluate the possible benefit of a combination of Cisplatin and Gemcitabine in treating malignant mesothelioma. This drug cocktail was tested on 21 advanced mesothelioma patients, and resulted in forty seven percent showing a partial response to the treatment.
Research is being conducted on this form of chemotherapy, which instills chemotherapy drugs directly into the pleural or peritoneal spaces. This form may have advantages over traditional chemotherapy as it allows for much higher doses without severe side effects. Recent studies have shown that this treatment may have positive effects on reducing tumor size and controlling pleural effusions.
This form of treatment uses radiation therapy within the pleural or peritoneal space. A radioactive substance is typically placed within the cavity.
Multimodality simply refers to a combination of treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation to maximize results.
This experimental form of treatment uses a genetically tailored virus to attack tumor cells in an effort to make them vulnerable to tumor drugs.
This form of treatment attempts to boost the body.s natural immune system in order to better fight cancer cells.
This treatment utilizes photosensitive drugs, or those which are sensitive to light to saturate tumor cells, which are then exposed to light.
Benefits of Participating in a Clinical Trial
- Best healthcare available
- Contribute to finding a cure
- New treatments may be more effective
- Treatment may be free of charge
- Careful monitoring by clinical trial team
Risks Involved in Clinical Trials
Although clinical trials are designed to maximize patients. safety, certain risks do remain. It is important to ask about these risks as well as discuss them with your health care provider. A common concern of patients. is that they will be .guinea pigs. of researchers by participating in a clinical trial. It is important to realize that in most trials done, the experimental treatment is compared to the standard mesothelioma treatment. Even if a test patient does not receive the experimental drug or treatment, they will still receive standard therapy, usually at little or no cost. If a placebo is used instead of another treatment, you will be informed of this before the trial begins.
Clinical trials are used as a research tool for future treatments, and are not guaranteed to work. However, they do offer another treatment option, and provide patients with an opportunity to contribute to a future cure. For these reasons, the good from these trials usually outweighs any risk involved.
Questions to Ask Before Committing to a Mesothelioma Clinical Trial
You may want to ask your doctor, nurse or researcher administering the mesothelioma clinical trial questions before committing oneself.
Ask questions such as:
- What does the mesothelioma trial hope to accomplish?
- What side effects might I experience? Are these worse than those I might experience with standard treatment?
- Who is sponsoring the mesothelioma trial?
- What should I expect if I am in the trial? What should I expect if I am not in the trial?
- What are the possible benefits to my family and me if I go into the mesothelioma trial?
- Will I have to pay for the treatment? Will any of the treatment be free?
- Will joining a trial keep me from being treated with other therapies, either now or later?
- Whom can I call if there are problems while I am in the mesothelioma trial? What phone number should I call in the evening or on weekends?
Some doctors are reluctant to have their patients participate in mesothelioma clinical trials. This may be due to any number of reasons, including:
- some healthcare providers may be generally concerned about their patients participating in medical research
- some may be concerned that their patient.s participation in a mesothelioma clinical trial will result in more work for the professionals and more demands on their already limited time
- others may worry that patients cannot withstand the more frequent office visits that might be required
- still others may believe that a standard treatment regimen will be best