Articles on Clinical trials

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A drug needs to pass quite a few hurdles before it gets to the market. The Conversation/Wes Mountain

Explainer: how do drugs get from the point of discovery to the pharmacy shelf?

Only around 10% of new drugs in development make it onto the market. A drug needs to go through animal trials, and then four phases of human trials to be deemed suitable for use in patients.
Randomisation is the only commonly accepted method of ensuring an unbiased estimate of the treatment effect. The Conversation/Wes Mountain

Randomised control trials: what makes them the gold standard in medical research?

A randomised controlled trial is the best way to compare a new treatment with the standard treatment. And randomising trial participants is a core feature of the experiment.
Scientists hope that stem cells may be able to repair nerves and other cells that support transmission of electrical impulses in the spinal cord. binomialphoto/flickr

Yes there’s hope, but treating spinal injuries with stem cells is not a reality yet

Claims that stem cell treatments can repair spinal injuries right now are overblown. But it's not for lack of trying, and the science is certainly progressing.
Better technologies should be adopted in sub-Saharan Africa to deal with childhood cancer. Shutterstock

How Africa can win the fight against childhood cancer

Better technology to diagnose, treat and manage the disease early enough is needed to improve the survival rates of childhood cancer in sub Saharan Africa.
So a tested medical intervention was found not to work. This should be just as big news as if it was found to be a success. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Why we need to pay more attention to negative clinical trials

Why didn’t you hear about a recent big study on a new heart medication? Because the drug didn’t work. But that doesn't mean the study wasn't a success – it was.
Glass sculpture representation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus structure. LabLit/flickr

Antibody injections could be stepping stone to HIV vaccine

A new animal study has shown injections of antibodies might protect against HIV infection, albeit for only a limited time.
Do parents know enough about clinical trials to give informed consent? Sick child image via www.shutterstock.com.

Clinical trials for childhood cancer drugs are critical, but parents don’t always understand what they are signing up for

The dramatic improvements in survival for children with cancer depend on clinical trials, and these trials depend on parents understanding the possible risks and benefits involved.

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