There is currently no cure for mesothelioma. Treatments have been developed which help to treat the symptoms of the disease and prolong the life of the patient but unfortunately, as yet no cure has been found.
Research into the causes, prevention and treatment of mesothelioma has made huge advancements in our understanding of the disease yet a standard treatment for mesothelioma sufferers is yet to be established.
In order to try and find new treatments that are safe and work, clinical trials are carried out.
The UK has a good reputation for its commitment to generate clinical trials for mesothelioma. Out of nine randomised clinical trials (RCTs) published, three were from the UK and the two current UK surgical RCTs are the only such trials being carried out worldwide.
Treatments start in the laboratory and if they appear to be effective are then moved onto clinical trials in patients.
The ADAM trial, supported by Cancer Research UK, has been researching a new drug to treat mesothelioma in the chest. It was found in the lab that removing an amino acid, arginine, destroyed mesothelioma cells. Arginine assists in many functions in the body, including cell division and so removing arginine would stop cancer cells from dividing and growing.
The study ran from January 2011 to December 2012 and it is hoped the results will be available in the near future. QualitySolicitors Oliver & Co will keep you updated on any developments.
Not all clinical trials are aimed at treating a condition, there are many which hope to further our understanding of a condition. This assists in identifying those at risk of developing a condition, and therefore hopefully helps in prevention or early diagnosis.
The MALCS trial is looking at the occupations of men and women and the development of mesothelioma and lung cancer and is supported by Cancer Research UK.
It has long been established that most cases of mesothelioma and some cases of lung cancer are caused by exposure to asbestos. In addition, there are certain jobs in the past that have been linked to asbestos exposure, particularly those in the building industry.
The study is looking to identify jobs where individuals have a high risk of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer and also to see whether younger people are still being exposed to unsafe levels of asbestos in the workplace, despite asbestos having been banned more than a decade ago in the UK.
The research is not only important to those in the UK but will also be helpful in protecting people in developing countries where asbestos is still widely used.
The study has been open since January 2001 and is due to close in December 2015. Participants are asked to complete a questionnaire. Males born after 1st January 1940 who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or primary lung cancer (and have had an operation to remove lung cancer) are eligible for the study. Females who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and were born after 1st January 1925 are also eligible. The study also involves a control group of healthy people who are selected through invitation. If you would like further information on this study please contact Cancer Research UK or speak to your doctor.
Although asbestos was banned in 2000, many buildings still contain asbestos and every week the news has stories of contractors, workers and the public being exposed to asbestos.
Small amounts of asbestos are present in the air and everyone is exposed to these. The TIPS study is attempting to find out if people are still being exposed to excessive levels of asbestos using lung tissue samples.
The study opened in November 2005 and is due to close in June 2015.
Those people who have had surgery to treat a non-asbestos related condition causing a pneumothorax may be eligible to take part in the trial.
Taking part in the trial does not mean that you have asbestos fibres in your lungs or that you have asbestos related cancer. The researchers are looking for asbestos in the lungs of a range of people, simply to see if people in Britain are still being exposed.
If you are suitable to take part in the study your treating hospital will advise you of this.
It is hoped that looking at the results of the MALCS study alongside the TIPS study it will show whether the risk of asbestos in the UK has decreased or whether safety regulations need to be tightened.
Whatsmyasbestosclaimworth will keep you updated on the progress of this study.