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Clinical trials can provide an alternative treatment path to patients rather than mesothelioma chemotherapy or surgery. Just because certain experimental drugs have not yet been officially approved and regularly prescribed does not mean that they are completely unsafe, either. In fact, all drugs used today are the result of successful prior trials. Participants are closely watched by a team of researchers and doctors. Dosages are altered and all side effects are recorded and monitored. Clinical trials are also playing the largest part in the search for a mesothelioma cure. With the help of current patients, each research study, whether it fails or not, provides new and valuable information. You must qualify to participate in a clinical trial; because they are controversial, they are often used with patients who have failed previous treatment attempts and are looking for a last resort. Contact your doctor or the nearest cancer center for more information about current trials and to see if you may qualify. Even if the experimental medications not do prove to be more effective than current treatment methods, they may extend the patient’s life or alleviate painful symptoms. For someone living with a disease without a cure, any extension of life or ease of pain is positive. Although it may be little consolation, by participating in a trial, you will be helping us all get closer to the cure.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|