Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finding Medical Trials You Can Be Part Of

Among other sources of medical treatments, there’s the possibility of being included in medical trials for new drugs or treatments—if you understand the conditions going in. If you are included in a study for new drugs or treatments, the treatment has not been entirely tested (that’s why they are running the test), and you may not even receive the treatment if you are included (you might be getting a placebo, or fake treatment, as part of the “control group” to see if the tested treatment really works better than doing nothing). For more information on what to expect from taking part in a clinical trial, see this q and a here. But if you want to take part in scientific discovery—or feel you have run out of other options, here’s how you can find clinical trials in which you may take part.

You can do a basic search by words, like the disease and city you are looking for. Better yet, do an advanced search, typing your disease or condition in the box marked “condition,” then choosing a state in “locations.” Under recruitment status, you want to pick those studies that are “open studies”—that may still be accepting people to take part. To do the widest searching, don’t bother to fill in the other parts. Those three should get you the most possibilities. However, if you want to be in a test where they will give you a treatment or placebo, go to the “study type” box and choose “interventional.” In the same box, there is also an option for “expanded access studies,” which list experimental treatments available to patients whose diseases are severe or deadly and are not treatable any other way. In other words, if you have nothing to lose. If you click on one of these, it will tell you the procedures to get into one of these treatments IF they are still open, and where to contact the people in charge.

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