Treatment options for mesothelioma include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, complementary medicine, and alternative therapy. Clinical trials are being conducted in a few centers across the country. The web site www.clinicaltrials.gov lists the clinical trials, if they are still enrolling and the stage that the clinical trial is in.
One term that is often heard when the options for treatment are being considered is Performance Status. One’s Performance Status is used to measure how a person is able to carry on ordinary daily activities of living while living with cancer. How well someone will do with treatment depends on the general health and their ability to manage their own care. Many clinical trials require patients to have a good performance status before trying an experimental treatment.
There are two primary scales used to measure performance status for those living with cancer: the Eastern Co-operative Oncology Group (EGOG)/WHO system, and the Karnofsky performance score. The EGOG/WHO scale is a 0 to 5 scale. The score of 0 is a patient who is fully active, no restrictions on activities. The score of 5 is death. Karnofsky performance status of 100- is normal, no symptoms, or evidence of disease- this scale is in a ten point scale.