The World Health Organization (WHO) definition for a clinical trial is:
‘any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.’
Clinical trials are research studies involving humans that are undertaken to investigate new ways of treating, preventing, detecting or diagnosing disease or medical conditions. Clinical trials may also involve testing interventions already available on the market for further improvement.
Clinical trials may be interventional or observational.
Interventional trials can involve testing with new experimental drugs, behavioural therapies, educational interventions, medical devices or other preventative care strategies-eg diet and lifestyle modifications.
Observational trials observe and assess health outcomes in patients allocated to already approved interventions, based on clinical decisions.
Clinical trials help determine if treatments or interventions are safe and if they produce the intended and desired outcome/result.
Why are clinical trials important?
Medical research, through clinical trials, is vital to unlocking potential new treatments and interventions to prevent, detect, treat or manage various medical conditions. Clinical trials are the most reliable way to test and measure the success of new treatments and interventions, and improve the way we manage disease now, and in the future.
Who can participate?
It’s important for researchers to show that the outcomes of a clinical trial are not happening by chance. To ensure this, participants are limited to certain groups with specific characteristics and must meet all eligibility requirements. Participation is voluntary and you should never feel forced or coerced to participate in a clinical trial. Carefully consider all the information about the trial to ensure that participating in a trial is right for you. You may also find it helpful to discuss your potential participation with family, friends or your local doctor.
Clinical Trials at the Skin Health Institute
The research activities of the clinical trials department at the Skin Health Institute are directed and supervised by Associate Professor Peter Foley. A/Prof Foley is supported by a dedicated team of staff including a full-time study doctor, registered nurses and administrative staff, who work collaboratively to deliver high quality care.
The Skin Health Institute has been involved in research for a range of treatments, for a variety of conditions, now approved for use. Some of these successful treatments include: Humira (psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa), Soolantra (rosacea), Enbrel (psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis), Albara (basal cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis), Metvix photodynamic therapy (basal cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis) and many others.