Clinical Trials

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are medical research studies that are carried out on people. Clinical trials are also called clinical studies, research trials, research studies, and drug trials. They’re used in all fields of medicine, to test new treatments and devices.

Clinical trials help researchers determine if new ways to prevent, diagnose or treat conditions/diseases are safe and effective. We often hear about clinical trials being conducted for new treatments, especially for new drugs. But there are actually four different types of clinical trials used in research – treatment trials, prevention trials, screening trials and supportive care trials.

Treatment trials test new treatments, including:

New types of treatment, such as drugs, immunotherapy, vaccines, and complementary and alternative therapies
New approaches to existing treatments, like surgery and radiation
New combinations of existing treatments

Prevention trials test new ways to prevent or delay the onset of specific diseases and conditions. Preventive approaches can include medications, nutritional supplements or other activities that doctors believe may reduce the risk of developing a certain disease or condition.

Screening trials test the best ways to detect a disease or condition as early as possible.

Supportive care trials, or quality of life trials, test new treatments for the symptoms of your condition/disease and the side effects of conventional treatments. New treatments may range from medications and nutrition to support groups and complementary therapies. Supportive treatments target problems like pain, fatigue, nausea, weight loss and depression.


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