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Understanding Clinical Trials – Seattle Clinical Research Center

Clinical trials are fundamental to the advancement of medical knowledge and the development of new treatments. If you’re considering participating in a clinical trial, it’s important to understand what they involve, how they work, and what your role as a participant would be. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help answer some of the most common questions.

What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. These trials follow a rigorous protocol and are essential for discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases. They often contribute to the improvement of standard medical care.

Why Are Clinical Trials Important?

1. Advancing Medical Research: Clinical trials are the primary way researchers find out if new treatments are more effective or have fewer side effects than current treatments.
2. Improving Patient Care: Trials can provide participants with access to new treatments before they are widely available.
3. Regulatory Approval: Before a new treatment can be approved by regulatory bodies like the FDA, it must go through several phases of clinical trials to ensure its safety and efficacy.

Clinical research is essential because it drives medical progress and innovation, providing the foundation for new treatments, therapies, and medical devices that improve patient care and health outcomes. It enables the discovery of new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases, ultimately enhancing the quality of life and longevity.

Who Can Participate?

Eligibility for clinical trials varies. Each study has specific criteria based on age, gender, type and stage of disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. These criteria ensure that researchers find the appropriate participants to answer the research question safely and effectively.

Benefits:

Access to new treatments that are not yet available to the public.
Close monitoring by a team of doctors and researchers.
Contribution to medical research that may help others in the future.
Potential compensation for time and travel.

Risks:

Potential side effects from the treatment.
The new treatment may not be effective for you.
Time and travel commitments required for participation.

How Are Participants Protected?

The safety and rights of participants are protected through:

Informed Consent: Before joining, participants receive detailed information about the study, including its purpose, duration, required procedures, and key contacts.
Ethics Committees and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs): These independent committees review and approve the trial protocols to ensure that the study is ethical and that the rights of participants are protected.
Monitoring and Reporting: Continuous monitoring for any adverse effects and mechanisms for reporting and addressing concerns.

Play A Role in The Future of Medicine

Participating in a clinical trial can be a rewarding experience, offering access to new treatments and contributing to medical advancements. By participating, you play a crucial role in the future of medicine, potentially benefiting countless others through your contribution to scientific research. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial, learn more about our enrolling studies by visiting our website or calling us at (206) 522-3330 Ext 2.