Discovery of new and better malignant mesothelioma treatments that could lessen the impact of the disease and even increase life expectancy is the hope of all mesothelioma patients and their families. At present the options for malignant mesothelioma treatments are limited. Medical research to improve and expand malignant mesothelioma treatment remains crucial.
So it was startling to read in an Associated Press article that there’s a crisis in cancer research because researchers can’t get enough people to test new treatments.
One of every 10 clinical trials for adults with cancer ends prematurely for this reason, the article said. If that one clinical trial was studying malignant mesothelioma, we would all be very disappointed.
“Clinical trials are the cornerstone of progress in cancer care; the way that new treatments prove their worth,” Dr. Matthew Galsky of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York said in the article.
When an experimental drug or other treatment fails to make it to market, people often think it didn’t work or had too many side effects but the inability to complete studies can doom a drug, too, he added.
Dr. Galsky and his team analyzed 7,776 experiments registered on Clinicaltrials.gov, the official U.S. website for medical clinical trials, from September 2005 to November 2011. All were testing treatments for various kinds of cancers in adults.
Poor accrual—the inability to enroll enough patients in time to finish the study—led to nearly 40 percent of premature endings.
Late-stage cancer trials can cost “tens to even hundreds of millions of dollars,” and that money is wasted if no clear answer on the drug’s value is gained, commented Dr. Charles J. Ryan, a cancer specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
One issue hindering enrollment may be that patients fear they’ll get a dummy treatment instead of real medicine. However, in cancer clinical trials, ethical standards require that all patients get the current best care, plus a chance at an experimental treatment.
Our sponsor Kazan Law supports malignant mesothelioma treatment research through the firm’s charitable foundation. Many of the firm’s clients, malignant mesothelioma patients and their families, also support research with funds the firm helps them receive as compensation from those who caused their illness. It would compound their tragedy if these funds did not achieve their goals of helping to improve the outcome of malignant mesothelioma.
We will continue to monitor Clinicaltrials.gov and notify you here whenever we see a mesothelioma clinical trial that is trying to recruit participants. We have a section on our website devoted to clinical trials. Please let us know too if you see one that we missed. The potential outcomes of these experiments make them too important to let them fail for lack of participation.