Factors Considered for Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Eligibility. Mesothelioma is a debilitating disease that affects thousands of people worldwide each year. According to Mesothelioma.com, approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the US and it’s the cause of around 2,500 deaths annually. Although we’ve come leaps and bounds in our knowledge of this cancer, there are still many things which we don’t understand. Currently, a lot of the cancer research efforts are devoted to finding a more efficient way of treating and controlling Mesothelioma, with the objective of finding an eventual cure. Clinical trials are some of the best methods researchers can use in order to find a way to combat cancer. Simply put, a clinical trial is a study conducted on experimental drugs or treatments which are conducted on patients themselves.
Why It’s Necessary to Participate?
As mentioned above, clinical trials are the best way to conduct new research on experimental drugs and therapies. Although most trials won’t provide a breakthrough movement, every step counts on the road to curing cancer. Practical tests are important in order to validate a scientific theory. And because they’re the closest a drug will get to a live testing environment, clinical trials are the only way to make progress in cancer research.
For the participant, clinical trials represent a way of getting treated with some of the latest drugs in the medical field within a safe and secure environment. If a patient has not shown a response to conventional treatments, then he or she is usually advised to undergo a clinical trial which may stimulate a positive response. At the same time, because the drugs are experimental, it is possible for it to result in unintended side effects which could prove harmful. But all the risks and benefits are clearly explained before the trial, and testing is constantly observed to ensure minimal danger.
Clinical Trial Phases
There are three main phases to clinical trials, including a fourth if the drug is then approved for use. In Phase I, basic information about the treatment is derived, like how it is administered to the patient and the optimal dosage. In Phase II, the drug’s safety is analysed in detail, including its effects on the patients versus the intended effect. Once the trial enters Phase III, the new drug is compared to the best conventional options to see if it provides a legitimate improvement. These usually involve more patients and multiple countries conducting joint research. The test is usually directed “blind” where the patients are not aware of whether they are receiving the standard treatment or the new drug.
If during Phase III, a drug has been sufficiently tested and proven to work, an application for a license can be made. If granted, the drug enters Phase IV, which study the drug’s long-term effects, particularly when used on a wide scale.
Eligibility Determination For Clinical Trials
A lot of factors can impact your eligibility for clinical trials, like the type of mesothelioma you have and what stage it’s in, your treatment history, current physical health and even your age and gender. It depends primarily on the aims and objectives of the drug being tested. Some are targeted to individuals at a specific stage of the disease. And other trials prefer those who have had specific treatments or even those who are untreated.
But in general, most tests will require individuals at optimal physical health and is likely to exclude smokers or those with a history of other diseases. You should always consult your doctor before volunteering for clinical trials in order to determine your eligibility.
Who Pays for Clinical Trials?
Costs for a clinical trial can vary greatly depending on the field. However, average costs tend to be around $30-$40 million before Stage IV. You may be expected to pay for some expenses but typically these are minor, as the majority of costs are covered by the government or local pharmaceutical firms.
With government funding reduced due to budget cuts over the last few years, the private sector has started funding a larger portion of clinical trials. Many private companies (some with nothing to do with the medical field) also take an interest in funding drugs which may prove to be profitable investments. And of course, cancer charities also utilise some of their donations they receive in order to support clinical trials.