Straight Talk about Mesothelioma, a blog series created by Michael T. Milano, M.D., Ph.D., a radiation oncology specialist, as a resource for mesothelioma patients and their loved ones.


In the whirlwind that follows a mesothelioma diagnosis, patients and their loved ones are often too busy to seek out clinical trials. Thankfully, organizations like the nonprofit Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) have stepped in to provide comprehensive information concerning treatment possibilities. Their online database — Find a Clinical Trial For You — allows mesothelioma patients and their caretakers to investigate various treatments based on type and location.

The database also offers a complementary informative pamphlet that can aid in decision making. For those not as familiar with online technology, this pamphlet is also available in print form. It can be ordered by contacting the Foundation’s Nurse Practitioner.

Sadly, Resources Often Go Underused

It has been reported that only 2-3 percent of adult cancer patients make use of clinical trials. This is due, in part, to the fact that doctors often do not mention them as a possibility. Some companies and organizations, such as Oncology Trials Insights, are trying to change this trend. Their website offers a Patient Matching Service, whereby patients are appropriately matched with clinical trials based on their personal needs and specifications.

Importantly, this service is also free of charge. Each patient enrolled is provided his or her own personal Clinical Trials Navigator. For those more comfortable talking to a live person, this free service can be reached at 1-877-300-2433.

Making clinical trials more available benefits both patients and medical researchers. The sooner we can learn more about mesothelioma, the better.

The Government’s War on Cancer

Recently, President Obama vowed to increase national efforts in the fight against cancer. This means that a lot more funding will be funneled into cancer research and individual clinical trials. It is an exciting and promising time in cancer research and patient care. A good way to stay informed of new trials is to visit the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute’s website, where users can search through a national database of clinical trials and research.

In addition to supplying this comprehensive clinical trial information, the website addresses the many questions that patients and caretakers might have about participating in such a trial.

Make Time to Explore these Resources

The websites and databases mentioned above are invaluable resources for cancer patients and their loved ones. The ability to participate in clinical trials should not be limited to those who have the ability to spend long hours investigating. For a cancer patient, it’s hard enough to keep up with medical appointments and maintain some sense of normality to life.

In the world of cancer research, promising new drugs and treatments are being discovered all the time. It is important that cancer patients are encouraged to be on the front lines of such discoveries. With each new clinical trial, we move closer and closer to a cure.