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Mesothelioma Research

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsors research studies with mesothelioma patients (clinical trials) that are intended to discover new and better treatments or to improve the existing treatments. Before any new treatment can be recommended for general use, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease. Participation in clinical trials is an important treatment option for many patients with mesothelioma.

People interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. Information about clinical trials is available from the Cancer Information Service (CIS) (see below) at 1–800–4–CANCER. Information specialists at the CIS use PDQ®, NCI's cancer information database, to identify and provide detailed information about specific ongoing clinical trials. Patients also have the option of searching for clinical trials on their own. The clinical trials page on the NCI's Web site, provides general information about clinical trials and links to PDQ.

People considering clinical trials may be interested in the NCI booklet Taking Part in Clinical Trials: What Cancer Patients Need To Know. This booklet describes how research studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks. The booklet is available by calling the CIS, or from the NCI Publications Locator Web site on the Internet.

People decide to particpate in clinical research for many reasons. Some patients can gain access to promising drugs long before these compounds are approved for the marketplace. Others particiapte for the free care. Whatever your motivation might be you should be aware of patient's rights and your safety. In teh United States you will presented with an "informed consent" form. This form explains the nature of the study, any potential risks, and what may occur to you during the study. Also the informed consent form lets you know that you have the right to leave any study at any time.

Since the current state of mesothelioma treatment is lacking many people feel they are not risking anything by joing these studies. Make sure you make an informed decision. Here are some helpful questions to ask:
  • How long will the trial last?
  • What treatments will be used and how?
  • How will patient safety be monitored?
  • Are there any risks involved?
  • Who is sponsoring the research?
  • Is this free or do I have to pay for any part?

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