Where to find mesothelioma clinical trials

An important matter for mesothelioma patients and their loved ones is the question of where to find mesothelioma clinical trials.

The reason this is an important issue is that mesothelioma clinical trials are a source of hope for patients desiring to lengthen their survival time, enjoy a better quality of life, and perhaps contribute to medical science’s ever-expanding knowledge of how to more effectively fight this disease.

The starting point for where to find mesothelioma clinical trials is the patient’s own mesothelioma doctor. Ask him or her to recommend appropriate clinical trials. The doctor should be able to provide many such recommendations.

Patients can also find mesothelioma clinical trials by contacting the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The NCI is a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH possesses a massive budget for the funding of clinical trials, so the NCI conducts far more of them than any other healthcare-related research organization.

To find mesothelioma clinical trials supported by the NCI, call its Cancer Information Service at toll-free (800) 422-6237 and press menu option 2.

Alternatively, visit the NCI website and navigate to the page that lists clinical trials. To find NCI-listed clinical trials pertaining to mesothelioma, click here. Search results can be refined by location and other patient-chosen parameters.

Many NCI-supported mesothelioma clinical trials are conducted at the NIH’s Center for Cancer Research in Bethesda, Maryland. To learn about those trials, patients can call either the center’s Patient Recruitment and Liaison Office at (800) 411-1222 or its referral coordinator at (888) 624-1937.

There is also the NCI Developmental Therapeutics Clinic (affiliated with NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis), which conducts clinical trials to investigate novel treatments for patients whose cancer does not respond to conventional medicine. Clinic referral coordinators are reachable at (240) 781-3400 or by email.

Other resources for where to find mesothelioma clinical trials

The NCI is by no means the only resource to utilize to know where to find mesothelioma clinical trials.

Here are some others.

ClinicalTrials.gov. This website belongs to the National Library of Medicine. The site promises information related to 351,100 U.S. and international research studies. However, it cautions users to keep in mind that a clinical trial listed on this site may or may not have undergone federal government scrutiny. The site also encourages users who search for and find clinical trials to review with their own doctors the benefits and risks of enrolling in them.

Medical centers, hospitals, and clinics. Among the best-known and top-rated of these are University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York City), Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.), Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore), Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (Boston), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles), Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago), Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/University of Washington Medical Center, and University of California San Francisco Medical Center. Patients should contact their nearest medical center, major hospital, or mesothelioma clinic to inquire about appropriate clinical trials.

Pharmaceuticals makers and biotechnology companies. These businesses sponsor clinical trials of new drugs and therapeutics they developed or had a hand in developing. Visit their websites to check for current clinical trials related to mesothelioma. Among the companies known to conduct such trials are: Eli Lilly and Company, Merck, BerGenBio, and Roche.

Clinical-trial listing services. Patients can look for mesothelioma clinical trials by visiting the websites of services that aggregate information about such investigations. These include the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), the EmergingMed Clinical Trial Navigator Service, WCG CenterWatch, and Imaginis.

Advocacy groups. American Cancer Society, The Meso Foundation, International Mesothelioma Interest Group, and Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation are among the advocacy groups keeping an eye on mesothelioma clinical trials.

Mesothelioma lawyers. Mesothelioma patients or loved ones who consult a mesothelioma lawyer about bringing a mesothelioma lawsuit against corporations responsible for causing this disease can ask that attorney for suggestions about finding mesothelioma clinical trials generally or with regard to specific enrollment opportunities. To talk to a mesothelioma lawyer, follow the link.

Why find mesothelioma clinical trials

Mesothelioma clinical trials are worth finding because participation in them not only helps advance medical science but also offers access to promising new drugs, therapeutic agents, and treatment approaches years sooner than might otherwise be the case.

The purpose of conducting clinical trials is mainly to determine whether a new drug, therapeutic agent, or treatment approach will in fact work as researchers hope. The other main purpose is to determine whether whatever is being trialed causes side effects that are mild and tolerable or severe and unacceptable.

These are insights that cannot be gained in a laboratory. They can only be gained from real-life use by patients.

These insights also are essential to obtain because, without them, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) won’t be able to pass judgment on that which is being trialed. Before a new drug, for instance, can be made widely available, it must be approved by the FDA.

Clinical trials are conducted in phases—usually three of them. In the first phase, researchers want to confirm patient safety (which is why in a Phase I trial they only enroll a very small number of participants).

In the second phase, they enroll substantially more patients—several hundred, perhaps—and attempt to document the effectiveness of the new drug, agent, or approach.

In the third phase, the number of participants is dramatically increased. Also, roughly half the patients receive the new therapeutic while the other half receive only a placebo (but neither group knows which one is being administered).

At the end of Phase III, the accumulated performance data are gathered and packaged for submission to the FDA for approval consideration—a process which can take years in some instances.

Greg Sandifer

About the author…

Gregory Sandifer graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and received his law degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California.

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