Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

Key takeaways: Mesothelioma clinical trials offer a more mesothelioma-specific course of action for patients undergoing treatment, as opposed to more traditional (and systemic) methods. Clinical trials are advertised online and must undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety for patients. There are certain prerequisites for some trials; your doctor and care providers can help you decide the best course of action.

What is the Difference Between a Mesothelioma Clinical Trial and Regular Treatment?

A clinical trial is a study being conducted that requires the enrollment of patients. Most scientific studies—especially ones that involve the creation of pharmaceutical drugs or novel medical interventions—aren’t tested on people. These studies usually enlist mice or rats, which act as a proxy for the ways that human cells and systems will behave in response to the treatment. However, because mesothelioma currently has no cure, manifests differently from person-to-person, and doesn’t have a single means of pathogenesis— or the progression of disease—it’s difficult to use rodents as a gauge for human reactivity. Before clinical trials are approved as safe for human use, though, rodents provide a litmus test for safety. Instead of testing for the efficacy of the technique, rodent testing ensures that humans will positively respond to treatment.

Once they’re established as safe, clinical trials act as an alternative to traditional treatments. Traditional treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy. While these treatments have proven relatively successful, they don’t target unique aspects of mesothelioma, i.e., they don’t use mesothelioma-specific effects, by-products, or growth patterns in order to kill cancerous cells. Clinical trials utilize new findings about the mutations, products, structures, and configurations of mesothelioma tumors in order to synthesize new ways to destroy the cancer. This makes clinical trials more mesothelioma-specific and mitigates damage to healthy cells. As a plus, clinical trials also offer further insight into the pathogenesis and growth patterns of mesothelioma.

What Kinds of Prerequisites are there to Enroll?

Firstly, a credible clinical trial needs to be approved by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI will have established the predicted efficacy and safety of the treatment, as well as approved the rationale for treatment development (meaning that they know the trial aims to target X immune checkpoint or Y genetic mutation). Once the foundational research of the trial has been qualified and the safety of the trial ensured, the NCI advertises the trials online here. Oftentimes, different trials have differing prerequisites: some require unresectable tumors, or tumors that cannot be removed with surgery; other trials require an initial round of chemotherapy; still others require a certain age, cell origination, or type of mesothelioma. Despite prerequisites, clinical trials offer a unique (and oftentimes more well-suited) course of action during the mesothelioma treatment process.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, please call The Halpern Law Firm at 1 (800) 505 – 6000. We are here to help you navigate the legal process just like we have helped many others. Do not hesitate to contact us today.


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