Treatments for chronic or serious illnesses sometimes do not produce the results that we hope to get.  When improvement is negligible or even non-existent, an option to consider may be clinical trials.  This would be a topic to discuss with the doctor first to find out if it’s a good idea for your particular case and to learn about any risks.  Then a call to the appropriate health organizations may put you in contact with research facilities that conduct them.  While there is no guarantee that a clinical trial will work, you may want to explore what treatments or medications are being studied at present.  A new drug or unconventional procedure could show promise and may provide at least some relief.

Participation in clinical trials that yield positive results can greatly impact the community, and even society as a whole.  Qualifying for it, carefully considering the risks and benefits, and deciding to take part in this type of medical research helps scientists find effective treatments and medications that could eventually be used by others.  The findings are then presented at scientific meetings, reported in medical journals and given to government agencies.  In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of ensuring that drugs marketed are safe and effective.  Only after reviewing clinical trial results that show a drug is safe and effective will it be considered for use in this country.  By participating in the clinical trials, the process of discovering medications that can help patients overcome disease, arrest its progression or find relief can move forward for the benefit of all.

As the new year begins, perhaps the time is right to think outside the box if you and your loved one are still looking for ways to improve his or her condition.  Clinical trials may offer hope – maybe even a more humane quality of life.



TrialCheck: cancer clinical trials

Cancer Trials Support Unit

Clinical Trials: USA & the world

Center Watch Clinical Trials

National Institute of Mental Health

National Institutes of Health

How Drugs are Developed and Approved