Clinical trials are generally bio-medic research studies in humans that strictly follow a pre-defined protocol. It is a process that all potential treatment alternatives and medicines go through before they are considered safe or effective for the general population.
People who participate in these trials are most often than not patients who have invasive and treatment-resistant diseases. Most of these patients see it as their last hope for a cure.
There are three stages.
Phase I is for determining the correct dosage and safety of a particular drug. This phase is not to test the efficacy of the drug, but more the safety. This phase is normally tested in a small group of people; usually 20-80 persons for the first time.
Phase II is for determining if the new drug actually works against a particular health problem. This stage further evaluates the optimum dosage and confirms the results of Phase I trials. Phase II gives tests to a larger group of people; around 100-300 persons.
Phase III is the final phase of a clinical trial before the new drug is approved for treating a disease. In this stage, the new drug is compared against the current standard treatment for a particular illness. Different doses and drug combinations are also tested in this stage. Up to 3,000 people are participative in the last phase.
A fourth stage is used nowadays for post-marketing studies. This phase determines if a drug or treatment is safe over time, and is done only after all three previous phases were approved by the FDA.
Doctors conduct clinical trials before any new treatment is recommended to patients. Since mesothelioma is one of the most devastating diseases, participation in such trials has become an important option for many malignant mesothelioma patients.
There are clinical trial reports on mesothelioma and all were aimed to raise hope for patients suffering from this disease.
Phase III Vorinostat (SAHA) trial is conducted for progressive malignant pleural mesothelioma patients. In this trial, doctors use Vorinostat, a chemotherapy drug, to kill cancerous cells, stop their division, and block enzymes that cells need in order to grow and multiply.
Phase II Pemetrexed Disodium with Gemcitabine or Carboplatin advanced malignant mesothelioma patients is a study conducted to examine the effects of chemotherapy drugs such as Gemcitabine, Pemetrexed Disodium, and Carboplatin on advanced and recurrent malignant mesothelioma.
Phase II AZD2171 is a study for patients with unresectable malignant mesothelioma. Here, doctors investigate the use of chemotherapy drugs to inhibit enzymes which slow the growth and block blood flow into the tumor. This study aims to help victims suffering from sarcotamous, advanced, epithelial, and recurrent malignant mesothelioma.
The individuals who participate in extensive clinical trials are brave individuals who wish to take a more active role in helping mesothelioma patients. These individuals greatly contribute to a more thorough understanding of this disease and help further medical science’s options in treating mesothelioma.