There are currently two clinical trials seeking patients with mesothelioma. The first is looking for patients with advanced stages of pleural mesothelioma in Pennsylvania and Texas. Merck & Co., Inc., a global pharmaceutical company, is conducting the study of the effects of Vorinostat, which is a type of histone deacetylase inhibitor. Participation will generally last for 24 weeks. The second is being conducted by the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the pharmaceutical company Novartis to test the effects of Cisplatin, Pemetrexed and Imatinib Mesylate. This trial is also for patients diagnosed with advanced mesothelioma.

More information about the Pennsylvania mesothelioma clinical trial.
More information about the M.D. Anderson mesothelioma clinical trial.

Participation in a mesothelioma clinical trial is a personal choice. Only you can make the decision to participate in clinical mesothelioma research. With a cancer like mesothelioma, clinical trials are one of best opportunities researchers have to determine the benefits and risks of new mesothelioma treatments and, as treatment options are currently limited for mesothelioma patients, clinical trials may hold the answer to help slow the aggressive nature of the disease.

There are both benefits and risks involved in clinical trial participation. When you participate in clinical trials you will generally be receiving health care from a leading physician in the field and your health during the trial will be monitored very closely. If the approach being studied is helpful, you will be among the first to benefit, and there is the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a valuable contribution to mesothelioma research. However, when participating in clinical trials you are also subject to side effects and unknown risks of various treatments. There is also the risk that a new drug or procedure may not be as effective as current treatment options or the new approach may not work for you at all.

You should always consult with your own oncologist to determine if your participation in a clinical trial could be beneficial to your condition. It is also important to know that the government has a system in place to protect only government-funded human research projects, which includes both protocol and informed consent. Most importantly, you should never feel pressured to participate and you may change your mind about the study once you have been fully informed on the procedures, testing and time required. Once you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, your time is precious, and you should use that time for what you want.