Why Are Clinical Trials So Important for Pulmonary Fibrosis?

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Clinical trials are extremely important in advancing medicine, helping to better understand how diseases begin and their progression, and to ultimately find cures or ways to prevent the disease. Clinical trials for pulmonary fibrosis (PF) are no exception and are necessary to improve treatment for patients.

MORE: Seven common symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis.

In order to be approved by the FDA or other countries’ governing bodies, a drug or therapy needs to go through various stages of testing to prove that it is both safe for humans and efficient. Drugs and treatments have to go through a few processes before they can actually be tested on humans — lab work and animal testing are completed in Phase I clinical trials and if it passes this stage, a small group of people will be selected for Phase II, where the drug or treatment’s safety is assessed.

Once through this stage, a larger group of people will be selected to determine how effective the drug or treatment is. These are usually split into two groups: one who will take the drug or undergo the treatment and the others who will take a placebo or continue with their usual treatment for comparison. If the drug or treatment then passes the Phase III clinical trial it can be recommended for approval for general use. Find out more about clinical trials here.

The advantage of a person living with pulmonary fibrosis taking part in a clinical trial is that they have advanced access to new treatments and therapies — although there is no guarantee that the treatment or drug will improve their prognosis.  They are helping to further studies of the disease, leading scientists ever closer to a cure. The trials are often free to participate in and treatment may also be continued free of charge after the trial has finished. Find out about PF clinical trials in your area here.

MORE: Top five recommended reads for pulmonary fibrosis. 

Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.