Medical professionals have welcomed a new way of identifying the most appropriate patients to take part in clinical trials relating to mesothelioma.
It is hoped the new tool, which was developed following research by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, will help maximise benefits to patients whilst enabling better results from clinical trials.
It will go some way toward addressing the problem of recruiting enough patients to such clinical trials.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the lining of the body’s organs, most commonly the lungs and heart.
According to the NHS, it is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 60 to 80, and men are more likely to develop the disease than women.
There is currently no cure for the disease, but it can be treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. The outlook for people with mesothelioma is not good, but various clinical trials are looking at different ways to prolong life and improve the quality of life of those affected by the illness.
How does the new tool work?
The new tool looks at three factors in each patient – the number of sites the disease is affecting, the level of the blood protein albumin in the blood, and the ratio of lymphocyte to neutrophil – to reach a prognostic score.
These factors have been used individually as a way of determining potential outlooks for patients, but they have not been combined into one score before now. This number can be used to predict which of the patients is likely to survive long enough to take part in the three-month clinical trials.
Being able to identify these patients will help those conducting the clinical trials to reach more accurate conclusions.
The importance of clinical trials
The use of paid medical trials such as those available at http://www.trials4us.co.uk/ is an important step in identifying safe and more effective treatments for a wide range of diseases, including mesothelioma.
Through their use, it is hoped the experts will eventually find cures or better treatments for all of the different types of cancer.
Even though those who take part in such trials may not directly benefit from the results, they are undoubtedly helping future generations.