Clinical trials are crucial in introducing new treatments and procedures to patients from the research lab. These treatments often benefit many people.
Participants in clinical trials gain access to new medical innovations and receive top-notch complimentary treatment from a doctor specialized in the study area at no cost to them. People opt to participate in clinical trials for multiple primary reasons.
Advances in Medicine
Why participate in a clinical trial? These studies allow researchers to evaluate the safety and efficacy of therapies in human subjects. They are essential to our ability to advance medicine. Every clinical trial has a protocol a written plan outlining the study’s procedures. The protocol includes guidelines for who can participate (called inclusion and exclusion criteria). Researchers and doctors follow the protocol when they manage a clinical trial.
Clinical research leads to many new tests and treatments for diseases, injuries, and illnesses. These include drugs, vaccines, surgical techniques, and radiological procedures. It also helps us better understand how the body works and why certain conditions happen.
Many medical advances could only have happened with people willing to volunteer for clinical trials. For example, gene therapy has given patients with inherited diseases treatment options that target the disease at its genetic root. It has improved their quality of life and may extend their lifespan.
In addition, many of today’s standard treatments for illnesses such as cancer were first developed through clinical trials. Participating in clinical trials helps improve patient care by testing and offering new treatment options. The more diverse a group of participants is in a trial, the better we will be able to learn how a new medicine or vaccine will work for different groups of people.
Better Treatment Options
People participating in clinical trials can try new research treatments that might benefit them. If a study is successful, the new treatment may be approved for use by doctors and patients and added to the list of available medications.
For individuals with a severe illness like cancer or other conditions such as acromegaly or Parkinson’s, being a part of a clinical trial can give them access to currently unavailable therapies. It can also offer them additional care and attention from a research team of world-class medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers.
Many participants participate in clinical trials because they have exhausted all other standard treatments or can’t tolerate the side effects of existing medicines. These are people for whom the future of medicine is essential.
Healthy volunteers often say they participate to help others and contribute to moving science forward. But the benefits they reap can be pretty personal, too. They can include getting regular and careful medical attention from a dedicated team of researchers, having the opportunity to receive potentially life-changing medication before it’s widely available, and knowing that they are helping to make the world a better place.
Better Health Care
Many people participate in clinical trials because their existing treatment options do not work or they cannot tolerate specific side effects. By participating in a trial, they can help doctors find the next generation of treatments.
In addition to having the chance to try an experimental treatment, participants can benefit from the ongoing care provided by their doctors and nurses. Some studies are conducted in hospitals, while others are done at physician’s offices or other research centers. Some trials are also conducted at home, using online and telephone communication.
Each study has a written plan, called a protocol, that describes its goals, how long it will last, and who can participate (called inclusion and exclusion criteria). It also details the tests and procedures that participants will undergo. This information is available to participants before they agree to participate in the study.
The results from clinical trials can be used to improve health care for everyone. However, for these advances to happen, we need various people to participate in clinical trials. Unfortunately, people from some groups — including minorities, women, and young adults — continue to be underrepresented in clinical research. By increasing participation in clinical trials, researchers can better understand what keeps us healthy and develop the best treatments for all patients. Ultimately, that means a healthier world for everyone.
Many people participate in clinical trials because they want to help others. They may have a family member or friend who has a disease and would benefit from a new treatment. They also want to make the world a better place by helping find cures for diseases that run in their family. Lastly, some participants are healthy and choose to participate in clinical research because their community needs more information about medical advancements.
Regardless of why they participate, all participants must consider all available information before deciding. It includes talking with their physician, bringing someone to their study visits (if they’re unable to go alone), and asking questions of the researchers. Access to accurate, easy-to-understand information is essential to the success of any clinical trial.
It’s also vital that everyone, whether they’re participating in a clinical trial or not, understands the importance of doing their part to advance medical research. Without the volunteers participating in clinical studies, we wouldn’t have the life-saving treatments and medications we do today. Every medicine and treatment we have on the market today has been tested in clinical trials at some point in time. Thanks to volunteers, we can enjoy the benefits of modern medicine and live longer, healthier lives.