What are the different types of clinical trials?

Clinical trials involving humans follow on from an extensive path of studies with animals and in the laboratory. These studies continue for many years meaning that commercial use of the drug may not occur until up to 15 years after the discovery of the drug.

There are various types of trials, those listed below are the most common:

  • Treatment trials: - test new treatments (eg a new cancer drug, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments, dose efficacy or new methods such as gene therapy).
  • Prevention trials: ­- test new approaches, such as medicines, vaccines, vitamins, minerals, or other supplements that doctors believe may lower the risk of a certain type of cancer or disease. These trials look for the best way to prevent disease/cancer in people who have never had it or to prevent a disease/cancer from reoccurring or a new disease/cancer from occurring in people who have already had the disease or cancer before.
  • Screening trials: - test the best way to find disease or conditions such as cancer, especially in its early stages.