Clinical trials are necessary for testing the efficacy or safety of a new drug or medical treatment. Before they are conducted with human participants, they may have been studied with laboratory animals like mice. This is to have preliminary findings and to judge their safety for human patients.
Disease, Illness, or Condition
The study is carried out on people with the same symptoms and have similar results on the diagnostic test. A trial may be undertaken, for instance, with a group of patients who have the same stages of lung cancer. It may also be done on patients who have recently developed a new illness.
Medical trials are conducted for four different purposes. The first one involves the treatment trials, which tests new drugs, therapies, devices, surgical procedures, and other methods of treatment. Another purpose is for prevention. This examines the possibilities for keeping someone from developing another disease or condition.
A medical trial is also conducted for diagnostic and screening. One may also be performed to improve the quality of life. This is intended to study ways to keep people with difficult or chronic diseases comfortable or improve their quality of life.
Patients or Participants
To develop evidence, the clinical trial makes sure that the patients meet consistent criteria. The patients need to be similar to achieve a more specific result. Depending on the requirements of the trial, the clinical research group may require participants of the same gender, age, race, genetic makeup, or patients with the same diagnosis with specific symptoms.
The patients and participants are divided into two or more groups. The participants in the group are provided with the treatment, therapy, for the same period of time under the same situation.
In most trials, there will be at least two groups. The first group will receive a drug or therapy while the other group will have a false, non-therapeutic therapy. In some cases, there will be more groups to test additional aspects of the drug or treatment. Some trials may also require a patient to test a drug for a few days. Others may require months or even years to have enough evidence.
There are up to four phases in a clinical trial and each phase is the next step in determining outcomes. When the problems arise in a certain phase, the trial will be adjusted before it moves up to the next phase. There are also times that trial may be stopped.
Before participating in a clinical trial, be fully informed about it. Ask a clinical trial associate or researcher about the risks and benefits of the test.