Clinical trials are research studies where people can volunteer themselves to test new treatments, interventions, or diagnostic tests for medical conditions (including arthritis).
Clinical trials are one of the final steps in the overall research process, however they can take a long time to complete properly.
One of the reasons why the clinical trial stage is so vital is that it allows researchers to test a new treatment on people, rather than in the lab or using animal models – which themselves are very important steps in the overall research process.
A clinical trial also normally consists of many different stages where researchers test their treatments on different types of people, for example: people of different ages and backgrounds, people with different health conditions or people who are taking different medications. They do this to make sure that any benefits that the new treatment has happens for most people and is not just random.
Across Australia there are many researchers looking into new ways of diagnosing, treating and hopefully one day curing different types of arthritis. We can also be very proud that Queensland is home to some world leading arthritis research. We have some information on the various research projects we support on our website – click here to read more.
One of the tricky things which comes with so much research happening in the arthritis area is that it can be hard to stay on top of everything going on, and it can also be difficult to know which projects are high quality.
Luckily, there are some organisations which are dedicated to providing people with information on the different clinical trials occurring across Australia. These organisations also allow people to find out how they can get involved in clinical trials relating to their condition.
Australian Clinical Trials (www.AustralianClinicalTrials.gov.au)
Australian Clinical Trials is a joint resource developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
Australian Clinical Trials allows people to learn more about what a clinical trial is and how they can get involved. The website (www.AustralianClinicalTrials.gov.au) also allows people to search for clinical trials and connect in with the researchers running the trial.
The Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (https://www.anzctr.org.au/)
Similar to Australian Clinical Trials, the ANZCTR is an online registry of clinical trials being undertaken in Australia and New Zealand (and some other countries). The ANZCTR again allows people to search for different trials and outlines the ways they can get involved. It also provides people with the contact details of the research teams undertaking the trials to help with finding out further information and how to get involved.
As with all treatments, it is very important that anyone considering taking part in a clinical trail talks to their healthcare team before making their final decision.