A clinical research study or trial is a scientific study evaluating a new treatment that has shown promise in laboratory studies. It is a scientific study of how a new medicine or treatment works in people.
Through clinical studies, doctors find new and better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, control and treat illnesses. A clinical research study is undertaken through volunteers who would like to participate in advancing medicine.
There are many reasons why people choose to join a clinical research trial. Some join a trial because the treatments they have tried for their health problem did not work. Others participate because there is no treatment for their health problem. By being part of a clinical research trial, participants may find out about new treatments before they are widely available. Some studies are designed for, or include, people who are healthy but want to help find ways to prevent a disease, such as one that may be common in their family.
Clinical research trials have eligibility criteria outlining who can participate. Some clinical research trials seek participants who have illnesses or conditions that will be studied, other studies are looking for healthy participants, and some studies are limited to a predetermined group of people who are asked by researchers to enroll.
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