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How to Decide if You Should Participate in a Clinical Trial

Aug 20, 2019

Arlington Dermatology actively participates in clinical research trials to help test the latest treatment options for various skin conditions. If your current treatments aren’t working as well as you’d hoped, you may consider participating in a clinical trial that tests and evaluates a new pharmaceutical, surgical, or behavioral intervention. Use the following information to help you decide if being in a research study is the right choice for you.

Benefits of Participating in a Clinical Trial

People who sign up for clinical trials may benefit in the following ways:

  • Gain access to new treatments at no cost—sometimes even with compensation for your time and effort in the study.
  • Play a more active role in your healthcare.
  • Receive more frequent health checkups and in-depth medical care.
  • Have the chance to help pioneer a better treatment option for others who share your skin condition.
  • Get information about support groups and other helpful resources.

Risks of Clinical Trials

Participating in a clinical trial isn’t for everyone. Here are the risks involved:

  • Experimental treatments may have unanticipated side effects.
  • New treatments may not be superior to existing treatments, or they may not work at all.
  • There’s no guarantee you will receive the new treatment. Some clinical trial participants are part of the “control group,” which gets the standard treatment or a placebo.
  • Clinical trials can be inconvenient, with time-consuming appointments or the need to travel to study sites many miles away.

How is Your Safety Protected?

Because of the risks involved, Congress has passed laws that protect every clinical trial participant. The safeguards in place ensure that every participant is safe. You will not be exposed to unnecessary risks or denied treatment that could prevent needless pain and suffering.

The informed consent process also ensures that you know exactly what to expect as a participant in a specific clinical trial. You will be informed of possible side effects or other risks, have your questions answered, and be asked to sign a consent form. Note that this is not a contract—you can choose to leave the trial at any time without putting your medical care in a difficult position.

What Happens in a Clinical Trial?

Before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a new clinical trial, scientists are required to demonstrate favorable results from lab tests and animal studies. With FDA approval, testing can begin in humans.

Clinical trials advance through four phases on its way to the market. These phases focus on safety and effectiveness by testing increasingly larger pools of people to determine side effects and find a proper dosage. The entire process takes years to complete, and by the end of it, medical professionals can confidently recommend the newly approved treatment thanks to thorough information regarding its safety and probability of success.

Arlington Dermatology in Rolling Meadows, IL is currently recruiting participants for several studies! Current studies include:

  • Adult and Adolescent Acne
  • Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric Psoriasis
  • Children with Chronic Plaque Psoriasis
  • Adult Atopic Dermatitis

To learn more about enrolling in a clinical trial, please call us at (847) 725-0824.