20 Jul Now Enrolling in Clinical Trials
Spectrum Dermatology is fully reopened and practicing social distancing measures while following all state and CDC guidelines for you and our staff. We are currently enrolling for a number of clinical trials. If you struggle with psoriasis, hives, warts, or atopic dermatitis, discover how participating in a clinical trial might help you and others with the same condition.
Minimal medicines and treatments were available for diseases and health concerns until the twentieth century. However, as more and more therapies have been introduced, there’s been an increased need to differentiate treatments to see what works best. Clinical trials were first introduced in the mid-twentieth century as a means to compare and test various treatments. Today, it’s required for medicines and therapies to go through ample testing to make sure they are safe and effective—clinical trials are an integral part of this. During clinical trials, researchers ascertain how well the latest treatments work and the best approaches to using them.
Why Clinical Trials?
There are a lot of drugs and treatments that are initially developed in labs and never get to the clinical trial stage. Rigorous evaluations must take place in what’s called a “pre-clinical laboratory study” before a treatment or drug can go to a clinical trial. At the clinical trial stage, there are different phases. Phase 1 only uses a few people (under 50) to gauge safety. Participants are closely monitored by doctors. Phase 2 trials are larger (up to 100 people) and consider if the treatment helps the majority of participants.
Phase 3 trials are the biggest and longest. At this point the treatment is being compared to the established approach for the condition being studied. This phase usually includes hundreds of people and counts with a control group. The control group are given a placebo (which might be the current approved treatment for that disease). Participants don’t know if they’re in the control group or the experimental group, but both groups are getting a type of care. Each dermatology practice has different criteria and we encourage you to check out the clinical trials at Spectrum Dermatology.
Benefits of Clinical Trials
There are benefits to participating in clinical trials even if you are in the control group. If you are in the experimental group, there’s a good chance you are one of the first people with your condition to experience the benefits of the latest treatment. If you’ve been struggling with your condition for a long time and no other treatment has worked, you might be part of discovering the latest treatment that does help.
However, even if the treatment doesn’t help you, you’re helping others. Maybe the treatment isn’t the best fit for you individually, but you’ll play a role in moving a treatment forward that is beneficial to others with your condition. If the treatment isn’t effective, you’re playing a role in determining the inefficacy of the treatment so that researchers can focus on other possibilities. Without the generosity of clinical trial participants, researchers would never have gotten as far as they have in developing effective medicines and treatments.
Keeping Participants Safe during Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are a type of research and have inherent risks. However, remember that years of testing have already been performed before the clinical trial stage. All participants are carefully monitored by a team of leading doctors and clinical trials are renowned for their safety records. Safety standards are mandatory from beginning to end, and participants are free to stop at any point without any repercussions.
The exact risks depend on the treatment being studied and the patient. Participants can rest assured that they have a full team of experts guiding them through this process and carefully analyzing all data.
Is a Clinical Trial Right for Me?
Many clinical trials reimburse participants for their time and commitment. This is another possible benefit of participation, though usually not the primary reason participants get involved. If you’re thinking about joining a clinical trial, you probably have a lot of questions. Understanding why the study is being performed, how the treatment is administered, how much travel is involved, and how the trial might impact your daily life are all good questions that will be addressed during an initial talk with the study group.
Spectrum Dermatology has always been committed to providing patients with the best in care, and that means supporting clinical trials that are tackling the most pressing dermatological issues. We’re proud to partner with these clinical trial groups to help make a difference when it comes to treating hives, warts, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. You can learn more about clinical trials at Spectrum Dermatology online or by calling us at (480) 948-8400.