Mesothelioma is a rare and devastating form of cancer for which there is currently no cure and only an 18-month life expectancy after diagnosis. Standard cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can help, but doctors and scientists are always on the hunt for novel treatments that may offer hope to mesothelioma patients and their families. In some cases, current mesothelioma patients can help with the search for a cure by participating in clinical trials, which are carefully controlled research studies.
Not only can participants in clinical trials feel proud that they are helping researchers who seek better mesothelioma treatments, but they also often have access to state-of-the-art treatments that may not have otherwise been available to them.
Clinical trials do come with risks. There is always a possibility that the treatment in question may not work as expected, and trial participants must weigh this possibility before opting to forego traditional treatments in exchange for trial treatments. The side-effects of clinical trial drugs and treatments may also not be fully discovered at the time of the trial, and trial treatments can be time-consuming and costly. Mesothelioma patients interested in participating in clinical trials should also know that insurance may not cover this new type of drug or treatment.
Mesothelioma patients who are considering a clinical trial need to carefully weigh all of the benefits against the risks of participation in relation to their specific situation (such as the stage of their mesothelioma, overall health, and other options for treatment available to them).
In order to participate in a clinical trial, patients must fulfill a list of requirements which will vary according to the particular trial. If you are interested in learning more about mesothelioma clinical trials and whether there is a trial that is right for you, speak with your doctor and he or she can get you the information you need.