Patients enrolled in clinical mesothelioma trials at the National Institutes of Health will not have their trial affected by the recent government shutdown. However, an estimated 14,000 employees, or roughly 75% of the staff, have been furloughed due to congress failing to pass a budget.
Though patients undergoing treatment will see that treatment continued, the shutdown will delay new mesothelioma studies and trials to research the fatal cancer. The NIH estimates that roughly 200 people per week will miss out on new trials until the government is restored and employees return to work.
Mesothelioma is a severe form of cancer most directly linked to asbestos exposure. The cancer can take several decades to develop after initial contact with asbestos, and affects 4,000 people every year.