Most of those suffering from mesothelioma have two primary goals. They want to find a cure for this debilitating cancer and improve or maintain their quality of life for as long as possible.
Participating in a clinical cancer trial for mesothelioma treatments may offer a means of achieving both goals. Those considering a cancer trial often want to know in advance what benefits their participation may provide.
First, the potential drawbacks
Before new treatments are available to the public, they must undergo testing procedures. A final stage of testing involves trying the treatment with actual patients.
Since the drug or therapy might never have been used on a human before, it can pose several risks or disadvantages, including:
- As yet unknown health effects
- Uncomfortable or dangerous side effects
- Increased frequency of medical procedures
- Increased travel and time away from home
In blind studies or trials, you may not receive the actual treatment, a big disadvantage for those counting on a new therapy.
Now, the possible advantages
A clear benefit is that the treatment might make you feel better or prolong the amount of time before you feel worse. Perhaps it could give you more energy or alleviate your symptoms. However, for most, the real advantage is helping scientists and researchers study mesothelioma and identify treatments that help patients.
The scientific community leans heavily on the data cancer trials provide. You might not live long enough to see it happen, but your participation could play a role in one day eliminating mesothelioma once and for all.
Does it cost to participate?
Typically, those sponsoring the trial or study cover costs associated with the study drug, but you could still face several expenses.
Consult with a legal representative if you cannot afford to participate in a trial or pay for standard mesothelioma care. You may have grounds for an asbestos exposure claim or lawsuit resulting in significant compensation.