Clinical trials are research studies performed in people that are aimed at evaluating a medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention. They are the primary way that researchers find out if a new treatment, like a new drug, diet, or medical device is safe and effective in people. Often a clinical trial is used to learn if a new treatment is more effective and/or has less harmful side effects than the standard treatment.
Other clinical trials test ways to find a disease early, sometimes before there are symptoms. Still others test ways to prevent a health problem. A clinical trial may also look at how to make life better for people living with a life-threatening disease or a chronic health problem. Clinical trials sometimes study the role of caregivers or support groups.
Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a clinical trial to begin, scientists perform laboratory tests and studies in animals to test a potential therapy’s safety and efficacy. If these studies show favorable results, the FDA gives approval for the intervention to be tested in humans.
Reasons to Participate in a Clinical Trial
There are a number of reasons why patients may want to enroll in clinical trials and clinical research studies related to BRCA:
- ● Patients can gain access to new experimental drugs or treatments
- ● Patients are interested in having a more active role in his or her healthcare
- ● Patients are interested in advancing science and medical care and improving the understanding of hereditary cancer risks
By participating in clinical trials and research studies, participants help advance what is known about medical interventions and cancer risks.
For more information, visit clinicaltrials.gov