Clinical Trials: Why Volunteer for Research?

Clinical Trials: Why Volunteer for Research?
By Zoe Davies, RN, MS, PNP

The only way we can develop better treatments and, hopefully a cure for CF, is through good clinical research. Clinical trials are scientific investigations involving people with CF to answer specific questions about a new treatment or a new way of using an old treatment. Medication trials test a specific use for a specific medication.

During clinical trials, researchers closely evaluate the safety and efficacy of particular therapies in study volunteers under very controlled circumstances. This process can last years, but it is important that each new drug and/or device undergo very careful scrutiny to provide patients with medications and treatments that are safe as well as effective.

To get FDA approval of new medications for use in CF, they need to be tested in people with the illness. Therefore, it is imperative that individuals with CF participate in the clinical research process. Each and every volunteer provides important information that cannot be gathered without their contribution. We need to encourage all patients with CF to become actively involved with this process so we can continue to find new and better ways to care for them.

On a more personal level, patients who participate in clinical trials are followed very closely, and have thorough and frequent physical exams and laboratory evaluations. This in itself has the potential to improve their health. Many participants find that they have increased adherence with all types of therapies that continues on after the study's end.

The reasons for volunteering for research are as varied as the people who volunteer, but one quote from an adult with CF was really striking. He said, "What if the people before us had not wanted to try new things? We would only be living to age six instead of well into adulthood." Clinical trials are for everyone. Check our clinical trials page now to see if you are eligible for any of the current trials, or call 650-498-5315 and leave your name and number so we can call you when future studies become available.

Be Part of the Cure: CF Research Team at Stanford