Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that stems from exposure to airborne asbestos dust and fibers on a long term basis and at high levels. The latency period for this cancer is twenty to forty years on average, and once developed, it can reduce the lifespan of the patient to a matter of months. At present, there is no cure for this form of cancer. However, some medical breakthroughs have been made over recent years thanks to clinical trials, and professionals in the medical world who continue to conduct these trials in the hope of finding increasingly effective treatments, and perhaps a cure.
Mesothelioma clinical trials are performed in countries all over the world, and involve researchers, medical professionals, cancer agencies, and, of course, the volunteers who agree to have the various drugs tested on them. Often, mesothelioma patients who have not responded to other forms of treatment will volunteer for these trials in the hopes of finding effective treatment for themselves and to help medics try and find effective treatment or a cure for all sufferers to benefit from.
Clinical trials are usually carried out after laboratory and animal testing, so the conductors of the trials already know that the drugs being tested have some level of effectiveness. The criteria for those wishing to take part in clinical trials can vary from one state to another, and procedures may take place in an out-patient setting or in a clinic depending on where the trial is being held.
There are three phases to any mesothelioma clinical trial. The first phase is used to determine the bet way of administering the drug and what the dosage should be. The second phase then assesses the effectiveness of the drug or treatment upon the patients that have volunteered. During the third and final stage, a control group is used so that researchers can compare the drug that is being tested against a standard treatment, which is given to the control group.
Through the clinical trial process, the volunteers are very closely monitored so that researchers can gain information on the effectiveness, the side effects, and the benefits of the treatment or drug that is being tested. Although funding can often be a problem, continued mesothelioma clinical trials continue to provide both patients and the medical world with hope with regards to improved treatments for mesothelioma.
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