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What is the Purpose of Clinical Trials?


What is the Purpose of Clinical Trials | clinical trial management system

Clinical trial’s primary purpose is to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and potential side effects of new medical interventions. Whether it is drugs, treatments, procedures, or diagnostic tools, every proposed intervention goes through a series of clinical trials to show and confirm their effectiveness and reliability by all means.

So—clinical trial management system are important for advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care at every phases of the clinical trial.

What is the Purpose of Clinical Trials Phase 1? 

The purpose of Phase I clinical trials is to evaluate the safety, side effects, optimal dosage, administration method, and impact on the body of a new treatment or drug. These trials typically involve a small group of healthy volunteers or patients, with the primary goal being to determine the appropriate dosage range and identify any potential adverse effects.

For instance, consider a new cancer drug, “Drug X”. In Phase I, a small group of patients with advanced cancer that hasn’t responded to other treatments would receive escalating doses of Drug X. Here, the goal is to observe how the drug is absorbed, metabolised, and excreted by the body. All while carefully monitoring for adverse effects. 

The data collected in phase 1 helps establish the safest dosage that can be used in subsequent phases.

What is the Purpose of Clinical Trials Phase 2? 

Next, the Phase 2 trials involve a larger group of patients (100-300). The purpose of Phase II clinical trials is to evaluate the efficacy of a new treatment and further assess its safety. These trials typically involve a few hundred patients and aim to determine whether the treatment shows promising effectiveness in treating a specific disease or condition. Additionally, Phase II trials provide preliminary data to decide whether to proceed to larger-scale Phase III trials.

Now, let’s take the same example of “Drug X”. In Phase 2, several hundred patients with a specific type of cancer might be given the drug at the dosage determined in Phase I. Researchers would look for signs of the drug’s effectiveness, such as tumour shrinkage or improved survival rates. All while tracking side effects. 

Phase 2 helps to determine whether the drug has a beneficial effect on the target condition and what the most common short-term side effects might be.

What is the Purpose of Clinical Trials Phase 3? 

Phase III trials aim to confirm effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare with standard treatments, and gather safety data through large-scale patient groups. This large-scale study (1,000-3,000 patients) is quite critical for providing the comprehensive data needed for regulatory approval.

For instance, in clinical trial phase 3 for Drug X, thousands of cancer patients across multiple hospitals and countries might be randomly assigned to receive either Drug X or the current standard treatment. Researchers would compare outcomes such as survival rates, quality of life, and side effects between the two groups. This phase would be designed in a way that ensures “any benefits observed are due to the drug itself” and not other factors. 

The results of Phase 3 are important to gain regulatory approval. 

What is the Purpose of Clinical Trials Phase 4?

Phase 4 is also known as post-marketing surveillance studies. Phase IV trials, conducts post-approval, examines long-term side effects and effectiveness of a treatment already on the market. They aim to uncover previously unseen side effects and gather real-time data on risks.

For instance, after Drug X is approved and available to the public, Phase 4 trials might track the long-term outcomes of patients using the drug, including any rare or delayed side effects. They could also investigate how Drug X works in different populations or in combination with other treatments. Let’s say researchers might study its effects in patients with varying stages of cancer or those with coexisting health conditions.

Phase 4 ensures ongoing assessment of the drug’s safety and efficacy in the general population.

Bottom Line

We hope that now you understand what is the purpose of clinical trials. Each phase of clinical trials—Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4—serves a specific role in the evaluation process of new interventions. 

Through a structured approach, clinical trials enable clinical researchers to ensure that new treatments are both effective and safe for the general population. 

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