Mesothelioma Research Methods

Mesothelioma Research Methods

Mesothelioma research methods help one go beyond the basic foundation. If you want to know more about particularly some of the aspects of the disease that aren’t usually addressed on the major online mesothelioma web sites, it helps to know how to find information about new mesothelioma treatments or research studies recently released.

One good place to start your mesothelioma research is the National Library of Medicine. It provides a selection of databases and catalogs to help you find all sorts of information. You can find a listing of library catalogs and services here:

The first catalog listed is LocatorPlus, which is a catalog of the NLM’s collection of books, journals and multimedia material. If you want to locate a videotaped presentation, for example, you can search this catalog.

Another good source of information for mesothelioma research is a medical library. You can look up references you have come across elsewhere, and see what current information is available. The NLM also has information about the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), which can help you locate libraries in your part of the country, by going here:

Once you have selected the area and state, select “Library Information” to see a list of libraries. Each entry is a link to the website for that library or resource that can tell you more about where it is, and what kind of material you might find there. Most of the libraries will allow you to search for books and journals online.

Mesothelioma Research – Cancer Medication Research

Researching medications can be especially important. When a drug is prescribed for you, you will get a pamphlet or sheet that tells you more about the drug, but you may want more information.

Another database provided by the NLM is the MedLine Drug Information site, at Here you can search for a drug by name.

A commercial database that provides drug information is the Physicians Desk Reference, frequently used by medical foundations and professionals who prescribe medications. They offer consumer-oriented drug information at if you are not a medical professional, you can still buy an electronic copy of the professional version of the PDR database for your computer or your PDA from the web site.

There are also various drug indexes available on the internet which give basic information about medications, and sometimes duplicate the information that would be supplied if you were prescribed the drug. These are also commercial sites (they can refer you to online pharmacies that can fill your prescription) but the information is freely available. Three of these are:

Mesothelioma Research Alternative Therapies

Complementary and alternative medicine has become more widely used in the search for a mesothelioma cure, especially when standard therapies are not effective. Complementary therapies are used in conjunction with standard medicine; alternative therapies are those used instead. There are several different kinds of alternative practices:

  • Alternative medical systems – These are systems of medicine that have developed outside conventional medical practice, or may have traditional origins. One example of this type of alternative medicine is acupuncture.
  • Mind-body interventions – Some of these treatments, like cognitive-behavioral therapy, have become a recognized part of mainstream medicine. Others, like hypnosis and meditation, are still considered alternative.
  • Biological-based therapies – These include herbal or dietary supplements, which may frequently be used along with conventional medications. Orthomolecular therapies are those that use vitamins and minerals, like magnesium or large doses of vitamin C, to prevent or treat illness. Biological therapies are those which use biologically-based substances, like bee pollen to treat autoimmune disease.
  • Manipulative and body-based methods – These treatments involve manipulation or movement of the body; some of the practitioners are osteopaths and chiropractors.
  • Energy therapies – These methods involve energy fields, either those that are supposed to originate in the body, or from outside sources. Treatments that manipulate body-based energy fields focus on touch and pressure, like Qi gong; therapies that use energy fields to treat various conditions from outside the body may use electromagnetic fields, like magnets or electrical current.

It is important to use the same standards to evaluate these methods of treatment as you would for conventional treatment. One of the problems with non-standard treatments is that they have often not been through the rigorous tests for safety and effectiveness as standard treatments have. Alternative therapies may not be effective, or worse, may be harmful. Finding information about these therapies before you try the treatment is a good idea.

The NIH has a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that may be able to help you and your doctor evaluate these kinds of treatments. Their web site is located at Here you can find information about research into alternative therapies, including clinical trials involving these treatments.

Two other good places to start looking for information about alternative treatments is the NLM’s MedLine web site and a commercial site that has the Official US Government Report On Unconventional Cancer Treatments:

“Cancer Alternative Therapy”

“Official US Government Report On Unconventional Cancer Treatments”

Research Nutrition

Nutrition can be an important component of your treatment, although it may not be addressed by your doctor. It is important that you eat a balanced diet that provides the nutrients you need, but getting the essential vitamins and minerals is also important. Some alternative therapies have to do with very large doses of a particular vitamin or mineral. Some vitamins and minerals can be toxic in large quantities, however, so it is a good idea to research vitamin and mineral supplementation carefully before using large doses.

The MedLine web page cited above, “Cancer Alternative Therapy,” also addresses nutritional needs for cancer patients. You can find more general information about dietary supplements from the FDA.

Dissertation Used For Mesothelioma Research

One place where research is always active is in universities, a mesothelioma research foundation and medical schools, and it is usually published first in Master’s or Doctoral dissertations.

A solid tool used in mesothelioma cancer research is ProQuest Digital Dissertations, it is a web site that will provide information about dissertations published in the last two years to anyone who wants to search the database. (You have to be a member of an institution that subscribes to the service to look at the rest of the dissertations in the database.) You can search using just one term (like “mesothelioma”, or you can use up to three different terms. For example, you can specify that you want to see all dissertations that mention “mesothelioma” and “treatment” and not “chemotherapy”, which will show you all of the dissertations that talk about mesothelioma treatment except for those that mention chemotherapy.

The ProQuest web site can be found at

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