ARE YOU PLAYING YOUR PART IN CLINICAL RESEARCH? HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE LIVES NEXT ON PRESCRIPTION HEALTH.
A RECENT GOVERNMENT REPORT ON CLINICAL TRIALS SHOW CURRENT PRACTICES PROTECT PARTICIPANTS FROM HARM. THIS AFTER SOME UNETHICAL RESEARCH SPONSORED BY THE U-S PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE WAS MADE PUBLIC LAST YEAR....INVOLVING THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS IN GUATEMALA IN THE 1940'S BEING EXPOSED TO SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE.
TODAY, WITHOUT TRIALS, DEVELOPING NEW TREATMENTS FOR DISEASES AND ADVANCING MEDICINE WOULD BE NEAR IMPOSSIBLE. ANDREW MCINTOSH REPORTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF CLINICAL TRIALS AND HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED.
EVERY DAY KAREN ANDERSON GETS TO SPEND WITH HER DAUGHTER IS A GIFT. SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 4 MELANOMA AND GIVEN SIX MONTHS TO LIVE. THAT WAS FOUR YEARS AGO. KAREN CREDITS CLINICAL TRIALS FOR THE EXTRA TIME SHE'S BEEN GIVEN.
"I would not be here if not for the trials."
ROBERT BREECE'S BLOOD PRESSURE WAS OUT OF CONTROL. BUT WITH THE HELP OF A CLINICAL TRIAL IT WENT FROM 225 OVER 125...TO A MUCH HEALTHIER 128 OVER 68!
"It has made a huge difference with my blood pressure."
WITHOUT PEOPLE LIKE KAREN AND ROBERT, ADVANCEMENTS IN MEDICINE WOULDN'T BE "If patients aren't willing to enter clinical trials, then we can't help." "Often times drugs are offered free of charge as part of the trial. Then the only thing you have to understand is that you are doing something that ultimately will probably help you and help others with a similar style disease.
TO FIND A TRIAL, FIRST ASK YOUR DOCTOR. YOU CAN ALSO CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES: CLINICALTRIALS-DOT-GOV. THE DATABASE HAS MORE THAN 117-THOUSAND CURRENT STUDIES. CANCER-DOT-GOV HAS MORE THAN 8-THOUSAND ACTIVELY RECRUITING TRIALS. CHECK NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS AND THE WEBSITES OF MEDICAL UNIVERSITIES.
PATIENT ADVOCACY GROUPS LIKE THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION CAN ALSO HELP. NOW ON HER SEVENTH CLINICAL TRIAL, THAT'S WHAT KAREN WANTS TO DO, HELP FUTURE GENERATIONS.
"At some point, melanoma will kill me. But when it does, I want to know that I've done something so that you know another family doesn't have to go through this."
THOSE CONSIDERING ENROLLING IN A CLINICAL TRIAL SHOULD KNOW THAT WHETHER A NEW TREATMENT WILL WORK CANNOT BE KNOWN AHEAD OF TIME. IT COULD EVEN BE HARMFUL. EVEN SO, RESEARCHERS SAY YOU ARE CLOSELY MONITORED AND CAN BE TAKEN OFF ONE TRIAL AND PUT INTO ANOTHER UNTIL YOU DO SEE SOME IMPROVEMENT. ALL TRIALS ARE VOLUNTARY AND YOU CAN LEAVE AT ANY TIME.
CLINICAL TRIALS: Clinical trials are generally considered to be biomedical or health related research studies in human beings that follow a pre-defined protocol. ClinicalTrials.gov includes both interventional and observational types of studies. Interventional studies are those in which the research subjects are assigned by the investigator to a treatment or other intervention, and their outcomes are measured. Observational studies are those in which individuals are observed and their outcomes are measured by the investigators. Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. (clinicaltrials.gov)
BENEFITS: Clinical trials that are well-designed and well-executed are the best approach for eligible participants to:
* Play an active role in their own health care.
* Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
* Obtain expert medical care at leading health care facilities during the trial.
* Help others by contributing to medical research.
RISKS: There are risks to clinical trials.
* There may be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects to experimental treatment.
* The experimental treatment may not be effective for the participant.
* The protocol may require more of their time and attention than would a non-protocol treatment, including trips to the study site, more treatments, hospital stays or complex dosage requirements.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: The factors that allow someone to participate in a clinical trial are called inclusion criteria and those that disallow someone from participating are called exclusion criteria. These criteria are based on such factors as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. Before joining a clinical trial, a participant must qualify for the study. Some research studies seek participants with illnesses or conditions to be studied in the clinical trial, while others need healthy participants. It is important to note that inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally. Instead, the criteria are used to identify appropriate participants and keep them safe. The criteria help ensure that researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study. It is important to learn about the trial before deciding to participate.
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