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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies using volunteers (also called participants) that aim to determine whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe for use or consumption by humans.

Clinical trials answer the following questions:

  • Is a new treatment safe to use?
  • Does the new treatment have a positive or negative effect on patients’ disease?
  • Is the new treatment better than the current standard treatment, or other treatments that might be available?
  • Which patients benefit the most from a new treatment?

These studies may also present which medical approaches prove most effective for specific conditions or groups of people and, as a result, add to medical knowledge. Today’s clinical trials will lead to new standards of care in the future.

Understanding Clinical Trials




More in this Section

  • How Clinical Trials Work

    Get information about how clinical trials show us what works (and what doesn’t) in medicine and health care.

  • Deciding to Enroll

    People with a medical condition or healthy individuals may consider participating in clinical trials. Before you enroll, you should seek as much information as possible about the trial, and think seriously about the benefits and risks of volunteering.

  • Leaving a Clinical Trial

    Participation in a clinical trial is voluntary, which means you can leave a clinical trial at any time.

  • BrightFocus & Clinical Trials

    The BrightFocus Foundation mainly supports the basic research/drug development and pre-clinical/translational research stages, noting that it is essential to pursue every promising candidate to determine if that could lead to the next diagnosis method, prevention, treatment, or cure.

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