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Clinical trials are carefully designed research studies. Therapeutic clinical trials test treatments in people with certain diseases. Some clinical trials do not offer treatments. Non-therapeutic clinical trials collect information to help us learn more about the disease or its effects. A non-therapeutic trial may not offer a medical benefit to the patient. But what scientists learn from the study may help other patients in the future.
Clinical trials often use experimental treatments. An experimental treatment has not been fully tested and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is not part of standard medical care.
Clinical trials may study:
Many current treatments were first studied in clinical trials. Those who take part in clinical trials can help in the search for new treatments.
Clinical trials help find:
Michele and Joseph, parents to a child with cancer, discuss reasons to consider a clinical trial, questions to ask, and hopeful thoughts. Watch their story.
Clinical trials are different from standard medical care.
Therapeutic clinical trials seek to improve treatments. Researchers must follow a specific research plan or protocol during a clinical trial.
Clinical trials have steps to ensure safety. A review board must review and approve every clinical trial. This board is an independent group of experts.
The review board also:
Reviewed: October 2023