Treatments and Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma
By Jill Kane
For years, chemotherapy has been used as treatment for mesothelioma to shrink tumors. More recently, doctors
have used surgery in combination with chemotherapy with more success.
In addition, newer chemotherapy drugs in combination with surgery has increased survival rates of mesothelioma
Radiation has been used to control cancer symptoms such as pain, but it is not a primary treatment for
mesothelioma. It is also used in combination with other treatments for mesothelioma and may possibly assist in
killing cancer cells after surgery to prevent further growth of cancer cells in the chest area.
Much more research is required to improve treatment options through clinical trials. Clinical trials are used to
evaluate new cancer treatments and their effectiveness. They are an important aspect of improving treatments and
the ultimate prognosis of cancer patients.
Mesothelioma patients who participate in clinical trials are able to receive new treatments before they are
available to other patients.
Clinical trials have three phases. Phase I trails are the first studies of a new treatment. The goals are to
determine the correct dosage and the side effects. Phase I trials are only offered to patients who haven't
responded to other approved treatments.
Phase II trials are further studies of treatments proven to be effective from phase I trials. They are a
continuation of determining treatment safety and effectiveness on a particular type of cancer.
Phase III trials are used to compare a new treatment method with a currently used treatment program. Doctors can
thus determine if the new treatment is more or less effective than the already approved treatment.
A patient must be willing to partcipate and provide written consent prior to starting a clinical trial. The use
of clinical trials is very important in improving the treatments used in the fight against mesothelioma.
Over the past few years treatments have improved for treating mesothelioma, but further clinical trials are
needed to continue mesothelioma treatment methods.
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