12/12/2012 // Chicago, IL, USA // Cooney & Conway // Jill Rule // (press release)

Standard methods of treating mesothelioma such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation have had success, but doctors are continually searching to find better ways to treat this devastating cancer. There are sometimes opportunities for current sufferers to take part in the newest procedures through what are known as clinical trials. Clinical trials are carefully controlled research studies. These trials must be in the last stages before the treatment or procedure becomes FDA approved.

Clinical trials are sometimes the best way to gain access to state-of-the-art treatment. And some have proven to be very effective. These trials also help benefit others who will be diagnosed with mesothelioma in the future.

Some of the risks of these trials are that they may not work and also that time will be lost where more conventional treatment could have potentially been used. Because these treatments are experimental, not all of the side-effects may be known when treatment is started. These treatments can take longer and be more expensive. Another factor to consider is that your insurance may not cover the cost.

Despite the risks, some people find that clinical trials are right for them, but they aren’t for everyone. You will need to weigh the risks and benefits in relation to your specific situation (i.e. cancer stage, overall health, other treatment options.) Your doctor can help give you the facts on clinical trials with regards to your specific condition.

If you do decide that clinical trials are right for you, you should talk to your doctor about the clinical trials available to you specifically. There will be a list of requirements that you will need to meet in order to participate in the study. These requirements will vary depending upon the clinical trial in which you wish to take part.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mesothelioma/DS00779/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignantmesothelioma/detailedguide/malignant-mesothelioma-treating-clinical-trials

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