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Leading or participating in a mesothelioma clinical trial

Although researchers have come a long way in developing and implementing treatments for mesothelioma, there is still much that is unknown about the disease and the best way to treat it. In the ongoing efforts to learn more about the asbestos cancer, many hospitals and physicians have established clinical studies, in which they test new treatments and medications for the disease.

There is an established process for such clinical studies, based the needs and legalities binding both medical facilities and patients. Both parties are well-served by being aware of these processes before establishing or joining a study.

A mesothelioma clinical trial must be approved by the medical facility's Institutional Review Board before it can begin. This board is generally made up of a panel of doctors and other clinicians who review clinical studies. In order to gain and keep the board's approval, study leaders must continue to take courses and tests to ensure that they are in compliance with the ethical rules surrounding human research. In addition, they must create and abide by self-created regulations regarding how they are going to monitor the safety of all those involved in the study, especially when new medications are being tested.

For study participants, there are also several requirements. They must usually meet certain qualifications before being accepted into the study, which will vary from trial to trial. In addition, they must be mentally and legally capable of offering consent, and must sign a consent form to that effect. At any time, a patient may refuse the course of treatment at issue in the study, and may ask to be removed from the study altogether.

Source: Today's Legal News, "Getting Involved With a Mesothelioma Clinical Trial," 17 June 2011

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