Clinical trials are very important to the medical field. For example, over two-thirds of children diagnosed with cancer are treated by using clinical trials, and since childhood cancer is rare, it is difficult to plan treatment without knowing what treatments have been effective for other children with cancer. To reiterate the importance of clinical trials, one must realize that virtually all treatments for diseases and conditions available today began as clinical trials. However, deciding to participate in a clinical trial is a highly personalized and complex decision.
Patients who are considering participating in a clinical study should first talk to their doctor. The doctor will be able to talk to the patient about the types of studies currently being undertaken and the possible benefits along with the possible risks. Ultimately, patients will have to make the decision if the treatment is worth the risks. Some patients may decide that the risks are worth the clinical trial because the only other treatment options have not been successful. Other patients may volunteer for clinical trials to benefit the study and help others, realizing that they may be a part of making treatments successful for others.
When deciding whether or not to participate, it is helpful to look at the pros and cons of clinical trials. The first advantage is that the patient may gain access to treatments not yet available to the general public. Secondly, the patient will get excellent medical care at facilities during the trial. Patients will also have the satisfaction of being a part of advancing medical research.
The drawbacks of participating in clinical trials are highly individual. In some cases, trips to the study site, hospital stays, complex dosage requirements or the treatment itself may be too time-consuming for what it is worth as opposed to standard treatment. Patients should understand that some medications and treatments can have side effects and that once the clinical trial is over the new treatment may not be readily available. Patients should also understand that the new treatment may not be effective.
Other steps to take when making the decision include: learning as much as possible about the condition or disease, learning the clinical trials available and their design, discussing with a doctor which ones may be individually appropriate, the risks and benefits involved for a particular study, and any associated costs. After a particular trial has been discussed with a doctor, the patient may also want to talk to friends, family members, and others who have participated in a clinical trial.
For peace of mind, patients will want to choose an excellent independent research facility. Effective research facilities will recruit subjects quickly and produce high-quality results as soon as possible. They will provide top quality patient care during the study and provide their sponsors with valuable data. They will have a reputation for excellence, quality, and consistency.
Examples of studies currently enrolling subjects for clinical trials include diabetes, the ebola vaccine, high cholesterol, the birth control patch, and an overactive bladder.
South Florida Clinical Trials : http://clinicalresearchofsouthflorida.com/