Clinical trials are designed to investigate new diagnostic or treatment approaches for patients, and may be a great opportunity for mesothelioma patients to receive ground breaking treatment.
Often a new treatment is available only through a clinical trial. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) uses clinical trial data as a basis to approve (or not approve) a new drug or new device, or approve a novel use of an already established drug or device.
Generally, before a new drug or device is used in clinical studies, it has been exhaustively studied in animal model systems. Ultimately a small group of patients need to be the first patients to receive a new drug or treatment from a new device. Any clinical study for which this is the case would explicitly inform potential study patients about the lack of experience with humans. Generally these studies are offered only to patients who have few if any other options.
There are many different types of studies, with different study goals. These include pilot studies, Phase I studies, Phase II studies and Phase III studies.