Mesothelioma Survival Rates: The Role of Clinical Trials

Mesothelioma Survival Rates: The Role of Clinical Trials

Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of our body's organs, particularly the lungs and chest wall. This cancer is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, and its symptoms could take up to 50 years to appear after the exposure.

Despite the rarity of mesothelioma, it is an incredibly deadly disease, with survival rates hovering around 10% for patients diagnosed with the disease. However, with clinical trials playing a vital role in mesothelioma research and treatment, there is hope for improving the survival rates of those diagnosed with the disease.

Clinical trials are medical studies designed to evaluate new or existing treatments, drugs, or procedures to determine their safety and effectiveness. In the case of mesothelioma, clinical trials often focus on developing new treatment options or improving existing ones. Some of the critical roles that clinical trials play in improving survival rates for mesothelioma patients are outlined below.

1. Developing New Treatment Options

Clinical trials play a crucial role in developing new treatment options for mesothelioma patients. Researchers conduct these trials to see if a new drug or therapy could be useful in improving patient outcomes. One example of this is immunotherapy, which is a relatively new cancer treatment that works by stimulating the body's immune system to fight cancer.

Several clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing studying the effectiveness of immunotherapy in treating mesothelioma. In some cases, mesothelioma patients have reported significant improvement in their symptoms and quality of life after participating in immunotherapy clinical trials.

2. Improving Existing Treatment Options

Clinical trials also play a crucial role in improving existing treatment options for mesothelioma patients. Researchers conduct these trials to determine if existing treatments could be more effective when combined with other drugs or radiation therapy, for example.

For instance, clinical trials were conducted to see if the drug pemetrexed could be more effective in combination with cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat mesothelioma. The trials found that the combination was indeed more effective and is now an approved treatment for mesothelioma.

3. Identifying Early-Detection Techniques

Clinical trials could also play a significant role in identifying early-detection techniques for mesothelioma. As mentioned earlier, mesothelioma symptoms often take decades to manifest, meaning that the disease is often not detected until the later stages, when it is more challenging to treat.

Identifying a reliable and accurate early-detection technique could mean that mesothelioma patients could receive treatment earlier, which would significantly improve their survival rates. Several clinical trials have been conducted and are ongoing to identify early-detection techniques for mesothelioma, including blood tests and imaging tests.

4. Improving Patient Outcomes

Clinical trials do not only focus on treating the disease but also on improving the patient's overall quality of life. Mesothelioma symptoms could be incredibly debilitating, and clinical trials often include ways of managing these symptoms to improve the patient's overall well-being.

For instance, clinical trials could focus on developing ways of alleviating mesothelioma-related pain or improving the patient's breathing. These symptom-management techniques could significantly improve the patient's overall quality of life and make their treatment much more bearable.


Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer that requires much-needed research and development for new and improved treatment options. Clinical trials play a vital role in mesothelioma research, and they are essential in improving the survival rates of mesothelioma patients.

As a mesothelioma patient, participating in clinical trials could mean having access to new and innovative treatments that could improve your chances of survival. Clinical trials could also improve your overall quality of life by alleviating symptoms and making your treatment more comfortable.

Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, consider participating in clinical trials. Not only will you be contributing to the advancement of mesothelioma research, but you could also significantly improve your chances of survival.