Clinical trials are studies that are conducted to test novel medications, already approved drugs, technologies, or other forms of treatment. Many clinical trials investigate novel methods for detecting, diagnosing, or measuring the extent of disease.
Some are even looking into ways to prevent diseases from occurring. Human volunteers are still used by researchers to evaluate these technologies, and the same regulations apply. Clinical trials are used by doctors to determine whether a new drug, treatment, or combination works and is safe for people to use.
Clinical trials are critical in the development of novel medicines for serious diseases such as cancer. Clinical trials are required for all novel treatments before they can be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cancer clinical studies might last for years. It can take months, if not years, to determine whether a cancer treatment is effective.
Why do clinical trials exist?
Clinical trials demonstrate what works (and does not work) in medicine and health care. They are the most effective technique to learn what works in the treatment of diseases such as cancer. Clinical trials are intended to provide answers to the following critical questions:
• Is the new treatment effective in humans? If it does, doctors will examine how effectively it functions. Is it superior to the current treatment? If not better, is it at least as good and has fewer side effects? Or does it aid folks who aren’t benefited from existing treatments?
• Is the new treatment risk-free? No therapy or procedure, no matter how common, is without danger. But do the new treatment’s advantages outweigh the risks?
• Is this treatment superior to the normal treatment for this disease? Clinical trials can assist in determining whether a new drug or treatment or a novel treatment combination, is more effective than what is now available.
Answering these concerns while exposing as few patients as possible to an unknown medication frequently necessitates multiple clinical trials in different “phases.” Each phase is meant to answer specific questions while keeping participants as secure as possible. The results of these phases indicate if the new drug or treatment is reasonably safe and effective.