Clinical research and trials are crucial to the development of new medications, treatments and diagnostic tests for diseases. They ensure that treatments and medications are safe for the public to use with no serious side effects. Clinical trials test out new types of treatment on groups of participants through multiple phases, which allows medical researchers and professionals to work out what treatments are most effective, and what ones don’t work quite as well.
Clinical trials can:
- Prevent certain diseases by testing vaccines.
- Treat diseases by developing and testing new drugs or medical treatments.
- Find out how people can control their symptoms and manage their condition by making lifestyle changes (diet and exercise, etc).
There are three main types of health research:
- Population Research: Identifies health problems and the factors that come into play (lifestyle, age, etc). Identifies patterns and trends that occur in certain conditions.
- Laboratory Research: Investigates a problem and develops possible solutions (medication and medical treatments).
- Clinical Research: Tests possible new treatments on participants to gain a better understanding of how a disease works (diagnosis, treatment and prevention).
Some of the diseases which can benefit the most from clinical trials include:
Clinical trials have led to better treatments and outcomes for people suffering from cancer, and are the best way to evaluate the effects of certain medications and treatments.
- If a new medication or treatment is proven to be more effective than what is currently used, it may become the new standard of care.
- Some clinical trials look at ways to improve quality of life, while others focus on controlling symptoms.
- The treatments tested in clinical trials include chemotherapy, antibiotics, hormones, radiation therapy, surgery, psychological support and alternative therapies.
- Screening Trials: Detect cancer before any symptoms develop, which allows for more effective treatment options and a better chance of survival. Can target the general population or people who have a higher risk of getting cancer.
- Prevention Trials: Involve people who do not have cancer to see whether a particular intervention (diet, weight loss, etc) can help to prevent cancer. The general population or people with a higher risk of cancer can take part in this trial.
- Quality of Life Studies: Looks at how cancer or the treatment affects participants in their everyday lives. (Part of phase 3 trials).
Clinical trials for Diabetes allows for the development of new treatments and tests that can improve the life of somebody suffering from diabetes.
The most common type of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes which impacts the way a body processes blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with older age, obesity, a family history of diabetes and certain ethnicities.
In contrast, some people are born with a predisposition to type 1 diabetes (when the pancreas produces little to no insulin) due to autoimmune, genetic and environmental factors.
Most clinical trials revolve around type 2 diabetes, as that is the more common form of the disease.
Some common clinical trials for diabetes include:
- More effective ways to prevent, or delay the onset of diabetes.
- Find medications or treatments that work best at lowering blood sugar levels.
- If high levels of physical activity can improve the health of people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
- The use of pumps for type 1 diabetes (instead of insulin injections). Pumps are found to have better glucose control and lower insulin doses.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is mostly found in elderly people. It is a progressive disease and over time destroys the memory and other important mental functions.
Some of the most common clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Treatment Trials: Test new drug and non-drug treatments to see what’s most effective. Sometimes a combination of both drug and non-drug treatments will be used.
- Diagnostic Studies: New, more effective ways of diagnosing Alzheihmer’s disease.
- Prevention Trials: Studies the ways which can prevent the onset of Alzheihmer’s (lifestyle changes).
- Quality of Life Studies: Explore ways to improve the quality of life for people suffering from Alzheihmer’s disease.
- Treatments Aiming to Reduce Symptoms: New medication and combination of drugs are tested, which aim to reduce the symptoms of Alzheihmer’s. They also test alternative ways of taking already existing medication to see if it can be more effective.
- Treatments Aiming to Slow or Stop Alzheihmer’s: New medications which are designed to slow down or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s are tested.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system which can result in vision loss, pain, fatigue and mobility issues.
Some people can lead a fairly normal life, while others will experience more serious symptoms which may cause them to become incapacitated.
Clinical trials for MS include:
- Determining what medications are most effective for treating MS and for alleviating symptoms.
- Determining whether other treatments like surgery or physiotherapy can be effective.
- To determine whether stem cell treatments are a safe and effective way to treat MS.
- To find effective ways to diagnose MS more efficiently and to see if there are any patterns or trends with people who suffer from MS.
For more information about different clinical trials, please visit novotech-cro.com