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Clinical Trials

In order for research to be carried out, there must be a set of clinical trials that volunteer patients are able to participate in. These trials help with the process of finding new and innovative ways to treat mesothelioma and other cancers alike. Before the treatment or medication is able to be tested on volunteers, scientists must produce positive results in a laboratory study. The trials that take place with the use of volunteers help researchers and doctors find out the value of different kinds of medication, treatments, and whether or not they are safe and effective for human use. Clinical tests are an excellent way to determine whether or not the treatment or medicine tested will, in the long run, be beneficial to human health to help conquer deadly diseases.

Unfortunately, patients are to be aware that these are simply experimental trials. There is no guarantee that any of these types of clinical observations will produce positive outcomes. They may even sometimes come out as inconclusive results. Those who wish to participate in clinical trials must consult their doctor on a number of levels. Since this type of ‘treatment’ is in its introductory stage, a patient must consider whether or not it would be safe for them to be a part of this type of study and whether or not it would even be beneficial to take part.

After a patient chooses to take part in a trial, their doctor may be able to recommend a clinic that is in the process of recruiting volunteers. The National Cancer Institute sponsors many of the clinical trials that patients actively participate in. Hospital and cancer centers work with doctors to sponsor these types of studies. Other sponsors for clinical trials include, but are not limited to, non-for profit-organizations, biotechnology companies and drug manufacturers.

Types of Clinical Trials

There are different types of questions that scientists are trying to answer when conducting clinical trials. Due to the wide array of issues, trials are conducted in a series of phases.

Phase I uses about twenty volunteers to test a new drug or treatment. This phase allows the scientists to determine the side effects for the drug, and the proper dosage that should be recommended to patients.

Phase II uses a larger group of volunteers, usually over 150 people. This phase takes the same test for a drug or treatment and further assesses its effectiveness to the patients.

Phase III, using the larges number of people (over 1,000) allows the scientists to confirm the treatment or drug’s capability to be effective. This phase takes the experimental process a few steps further. The patient’s reactions to the drug are also compared to those of treatments or medications that are similar and already on the market. Scientists also use this time to generate more information about the drug to make sure the safety of its users is of the utmost importance

Phase IV goes beyond the experimental process and is there to generate any additional information about the new product or treatment that may be put on the market. At this point, scientists have determined the benefits and risks of the drug as well how the drug should be distributed for different uses.