Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Mesothelioma clinical trials, or clinical research studies, are studies that test new mesothelioma treatments on human volunteers to determine whether those treatments are safe and effective. Contrary to common belief, clinical trials usually do not study a particular treatment for the first time. In fact, treatments are usually extensively studied in labs and on animals before they are used in clinical trials. Often, clinical trials are the last steps before a new treatment can be released to the public. All mesothelioma clinical trials carry benefits and risks. As for the benefits, clinical trials are usually free, they give mesothelioma patients access to novel treatments, and they contribute to the medical community’s knowledge. On the other hand, mesothelioma clinical trials are risky because the treatments used are not proven to be safe or effective in humans.
Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Phases
Each new mesothelioma treatment goes through three different clinical trial phases. As mandated by the FDA, all three clinical trial phases must be successful before a particular treatment is made available to the general public. These phases are:
- Phase I Clinical Trial: In this phase, new mesothelioma treatments are tested on humans for the first time and only a few people are enrolled. The main purpose is to test a new treatment’s toxicity, how humans react to it, and what the correct dose should be. However, this phase is conducted with therapeutic intent.
- Phase II Clinical Trail: This phase enrolls more patients than phase I clinical trials and is designed to give researchers early information about whether or not a new drug or procedure works. In addition, phase II is designed to provide information about a new treatment’s safety and benefit. Sometimes, phase II clinical trials will divide participants into different groups and give different treatment schedules to each group.
- Phase III Clinical Trial: This phase compares promising new drugs and procedures with the current standard mesothelioma treatments. Phase III clinical trials usually enroll large numbers of people from across the nation and usually concentrate on a specific mesothelioma type. In this phase, half the participants are given the current standard mesothelioma treatment and the other half, called the test group, is given the new treatment.
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