Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. The objective of a clinical trial is to determine how effective and safe the treatment is and how it is best delivered.
A vast array of new interventions can be developed in clinical trials including drugs or their combinations, medical devices, novel surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, gene therapy or different ways to use existing treatments. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses.
People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Individuals with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to gain access to new, innovative treatments.