GrapevineFeb/Mar 2010 Issue

On Clinical Trial

The FDA defines a clinical trial as a research study that uses human volunteers to answer specific health questions. There are six common types.

An observation trial addresses health issues in large groups of people in real-life settings.

A treatment trial tests experimental treatments, new combinations of drugs or new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy in controlled settings.

A prevention trial investigates better ways to prevent disease, using medicines, vaccines, vitamins, minerals or lifestyle changes.

A diagnostic trial looks for better tests or procedures for diagnosing a particular condition.

A screening trial examines the best ways to detect certain diseases or health conditions.

A quality of life trial (also called supportive care) looks at ways to improve comfort and the quality of life for individuals with a chronic illness.

Adapted from clinicaltrials.gov.

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