What are clinical trials?

What exactly are clinical trials, and why do they matter to cystic fibrosis research? Read on to find out more.

18 March 2020: Due to COVID-19 some cystic fibrosis (CF) clinical trials may be suspended with new trials postponed. Please see the relevant advice on the COVID-19 Q&A page.  

What are clinical trials?

A clinical trial is a type of project designed to investigate the effect that a treatment (or intervention) has on human health. Interventions may be new medicines or medical devices, but may also be behavioural or lifestyle changes, such as modifying diet or physical activity. Clinical trials are designed to investigate whether an intervention is both safe and effective.

Why do they matter? 

Without clinical trials, treatments for conditions from cystic fibrosis (CF), to cancer, to diabetes, would never have been developed. Clinical trials are the only way to ensure that new treatments are safe and effective. All your prescribed treatments will, at some stage, have been through a clinical trial – so they really matter to everyone, including people with cystic fibrosis.

“Clinical trials cannot happen without us – people living with CF – choosing to take part. We hold the key to better treatments and we have the power to accelerate their development. Working in partnership with CF centres and people living with CF, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust has developed the Clinical Trials Accelerator Platform to attract more trials to the UK, share information about them and give people with CF across the UK a fairer opportunity to access them.”

Oli Rayner, 42 with cystic fibrosis

Take a look at some of the cystic fibrosis trials that made an incredible difference to CF care.

Clinical trials booklet

Our clinical trials booklet is full of useful information from our webpages on taking part in clinical trials.

Taking part

Find out more about taking part in a clinical trial. We've got information on everything from trial types to eligibility and consent as well as links to loads of useful resources.

Meet the team

There are a number of different professionals involved in making sure clinical trials are as successful as possible.

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