Choosing Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
For many patients with mesothelioma, a grim prognosis can be paired with less-than-optimal treatment options. Many patients may feel hopeless and scared.Thankfully, researchers and physicians alike are teaming up to create new treatment opportunities with mesothelioma trials and to hopefully find a cure for the aggressive, asbestos-related cancer through these clinical trials.
While traditional treatment options, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, are extending the lives of mesothelioma patients every day, they may not be available for every patient depending on their current health and medical history. A mesothelioma specialist may prescribe a variety of treatments based on a patient’s diagnosis type and current mesothelioma stage. But this can leave patients with limited options as patients diagnosed in a later stage may not qualify for some treatments. Clinical trials offer another avenue for treatment.
Currently, in the United States alone, there are 59 different mesothelioma studies actively recruiting patients. That’s 59 different treatments that may be the next step towards a cure for mesothelioma. This alone gives us hope. Clinical trials are the future of mesothelioma treatment.
Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?
Like any other treatment, clinical trials are not for everyone.
Besides the fact that patients must qualify for a clinical trial, which is typically based on their stage, type and location of their cancer, other factors must play into someone’s decision to pursue a clinical trial.
There are several questions a patient must ask themselves and their loved ones before making a decision:
- Why do I want to enroll in a clinical trial? It’s important to understand what you are hoping to gain from a clinical trial. Is it additional insight into your cancer? Is it extra months or years on your prognosis? Be sure to talk to your physician about your goals.
- What are the risks? Every clinical trial and treatment has risks and benefits. Understanding these ahead of time is essential to making the right treatment decision.
- What other factors will affect my everyday life? Consider the time and costs that may be associated with the trial. Would you have to travel a far distance to get there? Is everything covered by the researchers studying the treatment? Will your insurance cover parts of the treatment?
- Do you have the support you need from your loved ones? No one should have to go through treatment alone. If you have to travel for the trial, will a family member or friend accompany you?
When deciding to join a clinical trial, it’s important not to rush the decision. Speak with your doctor about possible clinical trials available for you. Talk it over with your friends and family members. Ask for their input. Above all, ask yourself what you want.
To learn more about mesothelioma clinical trials, be sure to check out the latest clinical trials resource from our partner, The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com.