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Clinical trials for mesothelioma
Clinical trials are know to be the studies that subject patients to new experimental treatments. Treating the mesothelioma lung cancer, the patient may be offered by a doctor to become a part of a new treatment's clinical trial. Only in case it is believed that the clinical trial of an experimental treatment may do well to a patient, it is decided to be applied. It often found out that treatments applied during clinical trials may be quite beneficial to a patient.
The Department of Defense along with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) and some more federal agencies produce sponsorship towards clinical trials. Other sponsors of the clinical trials are: hospitals, physicians, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Inc. (MARF), along with other foundations, the groups of volunteers, drug companies, and biotechnology companies.
The Community Clinical Oncology Program is one of the ways through which the NCI supports clinical trials. Many communities all over the US are able to produce clinical trials thanks to this program. The doctors are now able to offer their patients take part in clinical trials possible without travelling far from home because of the fact of affiliation of local hospitals with cancer centers or cooperative groups.
There are three different stages or phases in each trial. It is obligatory for the trial to complete the first two stages, whereas the results of these phases show whether the third phase should be carried out. Here is the list of the phases:
Phase I trial
A small amount of people take part in this phase and is carried out after it is found out whether these people are eligible and the new drugs and procedures are tested for administration.
Phase I/II trial
During this phase doses, safety and the response for this new treatment are checked.
Phase II trial
The initial information concerning the effectiveness of the new drug, its safety, suitability and possible risks is received during this phase. This phase gives the data necessary for the third one.
Phase II/III trial
The new treatment is compared with the standard procedures and the response to the new treatment is studied during this phase.
Phase III trial
The comparison of the results of the treatment group and the control group is carried out. The number of people taking part in the trial increases on this phase and they are moved either to the control or treatment group.
The researchers analyze the results of the previous phases after they are completed. In case they find out that the drug is unsafe or ineffective, the trial is stopped without getting down to the third phase. The third phase is done in case both safety and effectiveness of the drug is proved. Finding out medical relevance follows this phase.
Phase IV trial
The treatment approval is generally completed after the phase III and the treatment is marketed after it, though phase IV is necessary in order to find out side effects that haven't shown up during phase III trial. Phase IV involves several thousands of people.
There are following types of clinical trials exist:
- Treatment trials testing new treatments, drug combinations, new kinds of radiation therapy as well as experimental surgical methods;
- Diagnostic trials are aimed at finding or improvement tests applied for diseases diagnoses;
- Screening trials are carried out to define the specific conditions and diseases;
- Supportive care trials research palliative treatments that are aimed at making a patient's quality of life better and easing the side effects of a treatment;
- Prevention trials look for ways to minimize the possibility of the disease development and to avoid recurrence of cancer disease.
- Genetic studies are sometimes included in other types of trials. Their aim is, for example, to detect the reaction of the patient's genetic makeup to the procedure of diagnosing or to the response to cancer.
Clinical trials give a chance to mesothelioma patients to be subjected to the cutting-edge treatment before it gets out of investigational settings in several years, which is an important opportunity for patients. The patient can take an active part is his treatment, as well as be important for medical science.
The doctors and nurses give a detailed explanation of the research to the patients for him to be ready t read and sign the form that confirms his agreement to take part in the trial, which is also known as giving an informed consent. Though, the patient has a right to quit the trial at any time under any reason even after the papers are signed. The study may go along with other necessary medical care required for the patient.
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