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Clinical Trials

Overview

Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.

Every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, for conducting the trial. The plan describes what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted, and why each part of the study is necessary. Each study has its own rules about who can participate. Some studies need volunteers with a certain disease. Some need healthy people. Others want just men or just women.

In the United States, an independent committee of physicians, statisticians and members of the community must approve and monitor the protocol. They make sure that the risks are small and are worth the potential benefits.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

ClinicalTrials.gov
A service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, this website provides a search of clinical trials now in progress or for which participants are needed. You can search by condition, sponsor or status of the trial. It also provides a variety of links to resources and clinical trial-related informative sites.

Clinical Connection
Besides providing basic information about clinical trials, this website provides a comprehensive list of organizations, researchers and companies conducting clinical drug trials. The list is available by type as well as alphabetically.

Food and Drug Administration
This website explains why individuals should volunteer to participate in clinical drug trials, who should volunteer, how they are protected, the risks of participating, questions they should ask before volunteering, and phone numbers and links to websites to find out about clinical drug trials that involve treatments for their condition.

National Cancer Institute
This website provides information about clinical trials in general and addresses cancer trials specifically. It provides sections of information on patient-care costs and investigative drugs.

Local Resources

Clinical Trials, University of Colorado Health
The UCHealth website provides information on various clinical trials conducted at Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies, including clinical trials for heart disease, cancer and wound healing. Type "clinical trial" into the search window to find information on different clinical trials.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books and articles about clinical trials, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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