Research Trials on Mesothelioma
A patient’s participation in a clinical trial is of utmost importance for investigating new methods of successful treatments of cancer. All over the world, mesothelioma research is being undertaken and their efficacy is being monitored in the fields of immunotherapy, gene therapy and phototherapy.
The approval of a new drug or mesothelioma treatment is given only after comprehensive research trials are successfully completed, Medical and legislative authorities lay down a strict protocol that has to be diligently followed during the research trials. A multiphasic schedule of rules and governance are followed.
Phases of the Clinical Trial.
For a new treatment, the first phase of a clinical trial consists of researchers undertaking a basic and preliminary test whereby the patient’s responses are studied to determine the new drug’s effectiveness. Only after a successful completion of this phase, can a researcher proceed to the next phases of the clinical trial.
As the drug is new and not yet experimented, it can prove to be a bit risky for the patients, as no specific or guaranteed responses are yet known for the drug. Hence, those patients who have tried all other methods of treatment to no avail, are usually the first participants in this preliminary phase of clinical trial.
During the first phase, the new drug’s effectiveness, dosage, method of administration, and other pertinent details are established. Now the researcher is allowed to undertake the second phase of the clinical trial that deals with trying out the new drug with patients who have one or more types of cancer. During the second phase, the number of participants also increases. These patients are those who have undergone other methods of carcinoma treatment similar to phase one patients, but because of their positive reaction of their first treatment course, they have a high chance of benefiting from this second phase clinical trial. The researchers can advance to the third and final stage of the clinical trials only if the first and the second phase proves to be successful.
During the third phase of the clinical trial, the evaluation criterion is the quality of the new drug or treatment as compared with established treatment methods. The number of patients during this phase is more than phase two. Now, the new drug is used as a first course of treatment for patients suffering from cancer. The new drug or treatment is made available for general public use only if it fulfills the norms, efficacy and safety standards as laid down by the Food and Drug Administration.
Eligibility for the Clinical trial.
Established and strict guidelines determine the eligibility for all the three phases of the clinical trials. The guidelines include considerations for the patient’s medical history, age, general physical health, his response to previous therapy methods, and other factors.
Only after the participant has agreed to the researcher’s laid down stipulations, is the person allowed to take the clinical trial. Stipulations may include signing a consent form, one or more visits for testing and evaluation, and a possible overnight stay at the hospital in order to receive the treatment or for observation purposes.
Many physicians who treat cancer patients know the results of the current research trials. One can independently find out online through the Internet, the results of the clinical trials being conducted by an oncologist, by consulting the Physician’s Data Query, the National Cancer Institute, and the Cancer Information Service.