What Is a Mesothelioma Clinical Trial?
A clinical trial is a carefully controlled study on human participants that attempts to develop new and more effective ways to help people with a particular disease.
Mesothelioma clinical trials in particular are meant to advance treatment options for victims of mesothelioma.
Many of today’s standard mesothelioma treatment options such as chemotherapy and targeted radiation were first tested in clinical trials to demonstrate safety and effectiveness before becoming available to the public.
Reasons patients may sign up for clinical trials include:
- Being diagnosed with a hard-to-treat type of mesothelioma such as late-stage or sarcomatoid mesothelioma
- Failure to respond to chemotherapy and/or radiation
- Mesothelioma that has come back after being in full or partial remission (recurrence)
- A desire to help future mesothelioma victims
Video Summary: Amy Fair, a nurse with over 20 years of mesothelioma experience, explains what clinical trials are, the types, and how to find them. View Transcript.
Besides the standard treatment right now of radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy there are ongoing clinical trials at some facilities that some patients may fit.
Clinical trials are the development of new and novel therapies.
You have to be a candidate and meet certain criterial for clinical trials. Some trials evolve around a certain type of mesothelioma. Some evolve around a certain age group.
There are exciting clinical trials out there now that involved immunotherapy, where they are strengthening and enhancing someone’s immune system to fight the disease. There are target and gene therapies currently in clinical trials that target someone’s DNA make up and molecular studies. These are still currently in several phases of clinical trials.
If you are interested in a clinical trial or your oncologist thinks you’re a candidate for a clinical trial the best way to learn is to start with your oncologist. They should be very knowledgeable about the clinical trials in your area. The National Institute of Health, on their website, has a tremendous amount of knowledge about clinical trials, the different phases that they are in and where these facilities are at that are involved in these clinical trials.
Participating in a clinical trial can be an attractive option for a wide range of mesothelioma patients, offering the opportunity to receive the most cutting-edge treatments based on the latest expert research.
Mesothelioma patients interested in participating in clinical trials should speak with their doctor to see if a trial is right for them.
- The clinicaltrials.gov database listed over 200 mesothelioma clinical studies across the United States in April 2020.
- The FDA has strict laws and requirements to protect participants in clinical trials. According to the National Cancer Institute, clinical trials are only performed after years of lab research supports a treatment’s safety in people.
- According to the National Cancer Institute, the number one target for cancer immunotherapy is a protein called WTI. In 2020, the first mesothelioma patient entered a clinical trial testing a cancer vaccine capable of targeting this protein.
- The NovoTTF-100L is the first FDA-approved treatment option for mesothelioma in 15 years.