Many hospitals and cancer centers provide free lodging to cancer patients though Hope Lodge (funded through the American Cancer Society or ACS) or other organizations. Travel expenses are generally paid for by the patient. While many protocols offer experimental treatments at no cost to the patient, doctor visits, standard treatments (i.e. radiation), and standard diagnostic assessments (i.e. CT scans) are generally not paid for by the protocol. Most health care insurers have explicit policies about coverage from out of network providers. For a patient interested in seeking health care opinions and/or treatment outside of their health insurers network, it is strongly recommended that they contact the insurer to either obtain pre-approval or gauge what the personal out of pocket costs will be for out of network second opinions and/or out of network treatment. If your request for coverage for assessment or treatment from an out of network provider is denied, there may be avenues to dispute the insurer’s denial.
All research studies that are taking patients, both nationally and internationally, are registered with and are available for the general population to review at http://clinicaltrials.gov/. Protocols specific for mesothelioma patients can be found at http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=mesothelioma&recr=Open
Many studies for mesothelioma patients are examining new drug therapies for mesothelioma patients. These include conventional chemotherapy drugs as well as drugs that target the molecular biology of mesothelioma. Some protocols are available only to patients who have evidence of progressing mesothelioma and previously underwent standard chemotherapy, while others may be available to patients with newly diagnosed mesothelioma. Other protocols are examining new ways to deliver radiation.
Next, learn about the advantages and disadvantages of mesothelioma clinical trials.