The limitations of mesothelioma treatment understandably frustrates and upsets mesothelioma patients and their families. What if you could try a new experimental treatment that holds out promise? Would you try a mesothelioma clinical trial? What if there were risks involved? Would it still be worth taking a chance?
In a classic science fiction story “Flowers for Algernon” a developmentally disabled man tries an experimental treatment that turns him into a genius. He is able to do scientific research, falls in love and is happy. Then he notices that a laboratory mouse who received the same treatment given to him regresses. He realizes that his new intelligence is also temporary. He is disappointed but also grateful that he had the chance to experience such happiness.
Although the story is from 1960, the dilemmas of participating in scientific research remain similar. Only you, your family and your physician can decide if it is the right thing for you to do.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00715611
First received – July 11, 2008
Last updated – February 10, 2014
Sponsor – Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Collaborators – Eli Lilly and Company, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Purpose – There is a new radiation technique using Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) that seems to reduce many of the side effects of standard radiation therapy. This type of radiation therapy specifically targets the lining of the lung and reduces the risk of damaging the lung itself. The purpose of this mesothelioma clinical trial is to test the safety and toxicity of standard chemotherapy both with and without pleurectomy/decortication followed by IMRT to the pleura in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Estimated Enrollment – 40
Study Start Date – July 2008
Estimated Completion Date – July 2016
Eligibility – Confirmed mesothelioma diagnosis. No metastic disease, no prior chemotherapy for mesothelioma, no prior radiation therapy except for prostate or pelvic radiation, must have adequate organ function.
Discussion of Outcome Measures – The researchers primarily want to make sure that no one develops any illnesses like pneumonia after getting the new radiation treatment following chemotherapy and possibly surgery. They also want to monitor how the mesothelioma patients in the study respond to the treatment; whether it halts the progression of mesothelioma and influences their survival rate.
Contacts and locations –
Lee Krug, MD 646-888-4201
Andreas Rimner, MD 212-639-6024
5 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centers in New York and New Jersey
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas