Understanding Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.

Every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, for conducting the trial. The plan describes what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted, and why each part of the study is necessary. Each study has its own rules about who can participate. Some studies need volunteers with a certain disease. Some need healthy people. Others want just men or just women.

In the United States, an independent committee of physicians, statisticians and members of the community must approve and monitor the protocol. They make sure that the risks are small and are worth the potential benefits.*

Research that Makes a Difference

When MS attacks children and teens

There are many studies taking place every day here at Loma Linda University. Here is one example of the breakthroughs that are made by the Researchers who strive to find answers and the Research Participants who agree to help find them.

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A Patient Testimonial

Warren Ingalls

Loma Linda University Eye Institute is one of the few advanced eye care centers that run the CentraSight Program. The Implantable Miniature Telescope is used to improve the quality of life to those with advanced End Stage AMD. We had the opportunity to capture how impactful the IMT is. Please take a moment to view Warren Ingall’s IMT story.

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Making the Choice

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. This page offers information to help you to choose if participation in a clinical trial is right for you. In addition to the information provided here we encourage you to speak with your primary care physician and your family.

*Courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

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