The term “clinical trial,” refers to a research study in which information (data) is collected about people with a specific medical condition to learn more about that condition, or to determine whether a new treatment can help people suffering from that problem. Information gained from clinical trials therefore helps us understand more about diseases and how best to treat them. For the management of heart failure, for example, numerous clinical trials performed over the past three (3) decades or more have helped guide your doctor on how best to treat your condition. There are different types of clinical trials. Broadly, clinical trials fall into to two basic categories: observational and therapeutic trials.
Within a given trial, the investigator is the medical provider who is in charge of that study at a given hospital or institution. The subject is the person who has agreed to participate in the trial. Within many interventional trials, there is a control group or a comparison group that receives standard therapy but not the new treatment being tested. The treatment group refers to that group receiving the new treatment, either in addition to standard therapy or compared directly to standard treatment. The majority of trials choose which subject or participant will be placed into the treatment group or the control group at random (like the flip of a coin) to help ensure a fair comparison.
Current and completed clinical trials are listed on ClinicalTrials.gov. Click here to view clinical trials involving heart failure. To narrow the search down to trials that are currently recruiting, click the box labeled, “Only show open studies.”
HFSA is also pleased to provide a patient education module that discusses the application of clinical trials and how you can search for and potentially involve yourself.