A new device for treating mesothelioma is being studied by the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research. To be conducted, the trials will need patients suffering from mesothelioma to volunteer. The device — the Electronic Tool for Monitoring Symptoms and Syndromes Associated With Advanced Cancer (nicknamed E-MOSAIC) — is being tested to see whether or not its use in monitoring mesothelioma symptoms helps to control them. The goal of the study is to determine if the E-MOSAIC is an effective means of communication of symptoms between doctor and patient. If it is, better courses of treatment can be sought. Most drug trials examine products to treat or cure a disease, but the E-MOSAIC is intended to be tested as a palliative treatment.
Palliative treatments are those that seek to improve quality of life in patients undergoing other treatments for their disease. The E-MOSAIC is being considered as a means of reducing pain and suffering. Ideal candidates for the study will be those 18 years old or older, suffering from an advanced cancer that results in pain, appetite loss, weight loss, fatigue, depression, and/or anxiety. Patients must also be taking palliative anticancer treatment continuously every week or every other week as an outpatient. Health professionals conducting the E-MOSAIC trial will rule on final eligibility. Those interested should contact Dr. Florian Strasser, MD, at the Kantonsspital in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The study will consist of two randomly assigned groups. Both will use an electronic hand-held device, but one group will use it to monitor their symptoms and diet. The second group will record diet and specific symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, depression, and overall well-being. Weekly evaluations by nurses will also be made of both groups. An increase in quality of life for mesothelioma patients and those suffering from other forms of cancer is the goal of the study. The trials are expected to be finished by July of 2010.