While there is still no known cure for mesothelioma, researchers keep pushing for answers. This means that the range of possible treatments continues to expand.
Unfortunately, doctors are not always aware of the newer treatments. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, so many doctors have little or no experience treating it. Patients and their families often need to advocate for themselves. One of the ways they can do that is by checking on the list of ongoing clinical trials.
A wide range of possible improvements
In mid-September 2023, at the time of writing, the National Cancer Institute lists 77 different clinical trials related to mesothelioma. These trials can explore everything from new treatments to new drugs and new ways to detect the disease early.
The listed trials include a variety of different explorations:
- Adding surgery to standard immunotherapy
- Testing the impact of adding immunotherapy to chemotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma
- Using a new form of immunotherapy as a first-line treatment in combination with chemotherapy
- Modulating the intensity of pleural radiation therapy to shrink tumors
- Introducing various medicines and immunotherapy agents
Again, these are clinical trials. They are not treatments that have already received approval for public use. Accordingly, it’s rare that doctors without a great deal of mesothelioma experience will know about these trials. That said, your doctor can help you understand what the trials offer and whether you may qualify.
Always advocate for yourself
The National Cancer Institute lists 77 cutting-edge ways that medical professionals are trying to tackle the problem of mesothelioma. These won’t likely yield a cure anytime soon, but they do serve to remind us that you may have more treatment options than your doctor knows. It’s important for you to look around and contact experienced professionals.
Your doctor may care about you, but no one is going to care about you more than you and your loved ones. You want to be active in your treatment, and that includes a careful consideration of your options. Only after you identify and understand all your options can you choose the best one.