Clinical trials are needed for medical treatments to be approved by government organizations, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Without clinical trials, doctors and other prescribing healthcare providers (such as nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants) cannot prescribe medications or recommend other medical treatments. If you are considering participating in a clinical trial, there are some things you should discuss with your doctor/physician first.
There are several options and types of research when it comes to clinical trials. We’ve put together five pulmonary fibrosis clinical trial types of research (source: Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation website):
1. Basic science studies: This research is done to increase the understanding of the disease process on a molecular and cellular level. Throughout the time is can help provide the scientific basis for the development of effective treatments.
2. Epidemiological research: When the research focuses on studying a disease within certain populations; research in this area can lead to better understanding of potential risk factors, such as occupational or environmental exposures which may lead to the disease development.
3. Translational research: Focuses into finding meaningful treatments and clinical applications. This research is becoming increasingly prominent and the National Institute of Health is proposing the creation of a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).
4. Clinical Research: In this case, the research is performed to determine the safety and efficacy of medications, treatments, and diagnostic procedures.
5. Quality of Life/Social Science studies: Is a part of clinical research which has been previously ignored but has been gaining attention by the research community and the regulatory agencies. The term is used to refer to the general well-being of individuals undergoing specific treatment modalities, not only including medications but also supportive therapies (nutrition, exercise, respiratory therapy and psycho-social support).
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