Can You Participate in Clinical Trials?*
Clinical trials are designed to test new approaches to providing medical care. Through clinical trials, researchers can potentially develop new ways to diagnose, prevent, detect, and treat diseases.
To conduct clinical trials, researchers need to recruit volunteers to act as study subjects. There are two main types of volunteers:
- Volunteers who don’t have any significant health problems.
- Patient volunteers who have a physical or mental health condition.
Depending on the type of study, researchers may recruit regular volunteers, patient volunteers, or both.
To participate in a clinical trial, you must meet the eligibility criteria. These criteria vary from one study to another. They can include criteria related to age, sex, gender, and medical history.
Before volunteering for a clinical trial, it’s important to understand the potential benefits and risks. These vary from one study to another.
For example, here are a few of the benefits of participating in clinical trials:
- You contribute to medical research.
- You gain access to experimental treatments before they become widely available.
- You receive regular medical attention from a research team of health professionals.
Participating in clinical trials can also pose risks:
- There might be unpleasant, serious, or even life-threatening side effects associated with some types of experimental treatments.
- The study might require more time and attention than standard treatment would. For example, you might have to visit the study site multiple times or undergo extra tests for research purposes.
You can find more information about clinical trials in your area by searching online. To begin your search, consider exploring the websites listed here:
*This information was prepared by Healthline.com. For more in-depth information, visit
Finding scleroderma-related clinical trials has never been easier!
The National Scleroderma Foundation has partnered with Carebox to provide patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals with an easy way to search and match to scleroderma clinical trials. The free, confidential, and easy-to-use service allows patients and family members to search for studies that may be a good fit for them.
A profile can be created by answering a few questions. Carebox does not share any information with the trial sites or investigators but provides information directly to the person completing the profile. And then it up to them to take the next step and reach out to the trial site for more information.
Patients are under no obligation to participate in clinical trials they are matched with. Matching does not guarantee enrollment. Patients can discontinue Carebox services at any time.
Scleroderma Clinical Trial Consortium
The Scleroderma Clinical Trial Consortium (SCTC) is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to finding better treatment for scleroderma. The SCTC was started in 1994 with a handful of members and has grown to an international membership with over 50 centers in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Members of the SCTC have organized clinical trials on their own with funding from organizations like the National Scleroderma Foundation, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Not only are they studying medications currently on the market but not approved for scleroderma, they also support research to establish standard outcome measures for the trials so that the results can be compared over time and with different patient groups. Their website can be found at the link below.