Clinical studies for children are becoming more popular as more research and results are showing promise in the treatment of childhood disorders. If your child suffers from any kind of disease or condition, from cancer to asthma, you understand the struggle to find the right treatment with the least side effects.
This is exactly why doctors and researchers are conducting clinical studies on children; they want to find cures for childhood diseases and conducting research studies on children is the only way to get new and existing treatments out into the world for widespread use.
How Clinical Studies for Children Work
Every clinical study is led by a protocol. The protocol helps establish what the trial will study, who may be a good candidate, what treatments will be used, and how the results will be measured.
Studies are randomized and controlled, with the children separated into groups. The groups in the “experimental” category will receive the treatment that is being tested. There’s also the “control” group who will continue with whatever their normal, traditional treatment is, or they take a placebo pill.
The children in the studies aren’t aware if they’re taking the placebo or the new treatment, that way their perceived response won’t be influenced by whether or not they’re taking the real medication. Sometimes, studies are “double-blind” where the children and the researchers are unaware of who’s taking the real drug.
Once the study is over, researchers should have enough data to analyze that will tell them how successful the new treatment was.
What Children Can Participate?
Each study has different criteria to determine who is a candidate. Most often, children with an illness that aren’t responding to current treatment or who may benefit from potential new treatments are the best candidates for studies.
Your child’s doctor can help you decide if your child is right for a particular trial. If your child is a good candidate for a trial, they still have to meet the specific requirements unique to that study. Things like age, gender, and medical history are taken into account when choosing who will participate in a given study.
Benefits of Clinical Studies for Children
Clinical studies for children continue to increase in popularity thanks to the success they’ve seen in recent years. There’s some controversy over whether or not its ethical to put children in clinical trials, however, for treatments that are created for children, they must be trialed on children.
Adults and children react to medications and treatments differently, making it imperative that children be the ones that are used to trial the treatment. That being said, there are a number of amazing benefits to clinical studies for children and the risks are usually very low thanks to the extensive research that’s conducted before the trial even begins.
Participating in a clinical trial means your child is helping to shape modern medicine, helping find treatments for other children, and creating a new standard of care. Additionally, the more effective the treatment, the more likely your child will benefit from the cutting edge treatment that they wouldn’t yet have access to otherwise.