Clinical Trials

Once a promising drug has been identified by researchers, it is tested extensively in the laboratory to establish its safety and its likeliness to work as an effective treatment. If the drug works and is safe in lab tests, researchers test it in patients who volunteer to participate in clinical trials.

Clinical trials are an important part of the research process. They are used to determine the most effective dosages for the medicine being tested, what side effects the medicine causes, and whether the medicine is more effective than treatments that are already on the market. Without successfully completing a rigorous course of clinical trials, a drug cannot be approved by the FDA and sold to the public.

Clinical Trial Stages

The purpose of a clinical trial depends on how many trials have been done on the medicine. Clinical trials progress through four stages labeled I-IV. Stage I clinical trials usually establish the safety of a medicine and what dosages are safe and effective for patients. Stage II and III clinical trials establish the effectiveness of a drug, and if the medicine is deemed effective than the makers of the drug apply for approval by the FDA. Once the FDA approves a drug, it is released to the public and Stage IV trials are administered to continue monitoring the quality and safety of the treatment.

Enrolling in a Clinical Trial

The patients that enroll in clinical trials can come from a variety of backgrounds. They can be patients who have received the standard treatment but need additional treatment. Clinical trial participants can also be patients who want to help advance mesothelioma research by participating in clinical trials as a first line treatment. Clinical trials are also free to participate in because the number of mesothelioma patients in the US is relatively small, which is appealing for some patients.

Each clinical trial has different requirements for participation. Some clinical trials are designed for patients who have not received cancer treatment, and some are designed for patients who have already received specific types of treatment. As a result, clinical trials are part of the decision making process for many mesothelioma patients who are considering their treatment options.

Current Clinical Trials

The see up-to-date listings of all clinical trials currently underway, please visit the NIH clinical trials website to see all current mesothelioma clinical trials.

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