Clinical trials are conducted to find and test new medications for various health conditions. In terms of mesothelioma, the clinical trials are geared toward finding medications that will reduce tumors and will cause the cancer to go into remission. There are few medications in use today that help with the symptoms of mesothelioma and there is no cure at all. All clinical trials must involve the full and informed consent of human subjects. Clinical trials are closely supervised by government authorities, and must always be approved by ethics committees in the United States.
You need to have your physician’s permission to join a clinical trial. There are several reasons for this. Each clinical trial has restrictions for its participants. This can be dependent on age, gender, race, other medical conditions, and even the number of people already enrolled in the trial. The doctor also needs to confirm your health in readiness for a new medication.
In some cases, a patient may have to travel to hospitals where the trial is taking place for follow-ups on a regular basis. If they can afford the financial cost, the patients will receive excellent care with they are involved in the trial. As their risks involved in any new medications, it’s usually only patients with early stages of mesothelioma that can participate.
Clinical trials for your geographical area can be found on the National Cancer Association’s web site. They have a list of all the available trials. Additionally, more information regarding clinical trials is available at your request. Clinical trials not only help to shed light on the nature of mesothelioma, they can aid in both developing other treatment options and finding a cure for this debilitating disease.
There are various clinical trials. Here’s a basic overview of the clinical trial system.
Phase I trials: this is the first stage to testing a new drug and the first to be tested on humans. The trial size will be between 10 – 80 patients. The goal is to evaluate and learn the reaction that the drug will have.
Phase II trials: this is the second step to getting approval for a drug. Once it has been deemed safe through the Phase I trials then it is tested on a larger group of up to 300 participants. The goal here is to further the effectiveness.
Phase III trials: this is the final step before a drug can be approved. Study groups can be as large as 1,000 – 3,000 participants. The goal is to collect a large database of information, to confirm a drug’s effectiveness and to monitor side effects.
Phase IV trials: these are post-marketed studies to gather information about how the approved drug works against other medical conditions.