May 9, 2013
Clinical research leads to better medical care. New ideas often start in the laboratory, but eventually must be tested in the real world. A "clinical trial" is the name given to research that involves people as the subject of research. Our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent disease comes from the knowledge gained from these clinical trials.
Who can participate in a clinical trial?
All clinical trials have criteria about who can participate. These criteria are important for producing reliable results. For instance, people need to have a particular medical condition to be included in a clinical trial that evaluates a new treatment for that condition. Similarly, people may be excluded from a trial if they are too young or have other medical problems.
People who meet the criteria, are willing and able to participate, and provide informed consent can participate in a trial that is accepting new patients.
There are a variety of clinical trials recruiting patients to help study new treatments for major skin conditions.
What happens during a clinical trial?
The clinical trial process depends on the kind of trial being conducted.
What are the different types of clinical trials?
- Treatment trials look for new treatment options. These might include new medications, new dosages or combinations of medications, or new medical procedures.
- Prevention trials look for ways to prevent disease, including the use of medications, vaccines, vitamins, minerals, or lifestyle changes.
- Diagnostic trials look for better ways to diagnose illnesses.
- Screening trials are performed to detect certain diseases or health conditions.
- Quality of Life trials (or Supportive Care trials) explore ways to improve comfort and the quality of life for individuals with a chronic illness.
Should I consider participating in a clinical trial?
Participants in clinical trials help others by advancing medical science and may gain access to new treatment opions before they are widely available. Participants also benefit by playing an active role in their medical care. Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. It is often helpful to talk to your physician, family member or friends about deciding to join a trial. After identifying some trial options, the next step is to contact our study research staff and ask questions about specific trials.
You should try to get answers to the following questions?
- What is the purpose of the study?
- Who is going to be in the study?
- Why do researchers believe the experimental treatment being tested may be effective? Has it been tested before?
- What kinds of tests and experimental treatments are involved?
- How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits in the study compare with my current treatment?
- How might this trial affect my daily life?
- How long will the trial last?
- Will hospitalization be required?
- Who will pay for the experimental treatment?
- Will I be reimbursed for other expenses?
- What type of long-term follow up care is part of this study?
- How will I know that the experimental treatment is working? Will results of the trials be provided to me?
- Who will be in charge of my care?
Please be sure to contact us if you have questions or need more information about current trials being conducted in our Gwinnett Clinical Research Center. (770) 972-4845 ext. 132
BY: Joel S. Shavin, M.D.