Right Turn: The why and what of clinical trials

Author: Stacey Johnson, 09/25/15


Not quite daily, but often enough to have a prepared message at the ready, I get inquiries from people seeking a stem cell treatment for themselves or loved ones who suffer from one disease/condition or another. (When I’m not working on Signals, I am responsible for communications at CCRM and it’s in that capacity that I respond to requests from the public.) My prepared message encourages these people to seek out clinical trials, a legitimate option and response given that stem cell treatments are not yet standard therapy for most diseases.

If you visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health clinical trials website, you might be overwhelmed by the number of clinical trials listed, even just with the search term “stem cells.” Clinical trials are an essential part of the drug approval process. This is how the unsafe and ineffective drugs get weeded out to prevent toxic and risky drugs from progressing too far. Blogger Sara Nolte has written an excellent summary of the clinical trials process. Please watch for it on Monday (September 28th).

If you are interested in the clinical trials process because you want to know the principles necessary to deliver safe, efficacious and cost-effective cell therapies, CCRM offers a popular, yearly workshop on Cellular Therapies Manufacturing and Clinical Trials. The Stem Cell Network (SCN) has once again supported the workshop by offering bursaries to SCN trainees. You can learn more and register here.

Whether you are considering participating in a clinical trial or running your own, it behooves you to do your homework beforehand.

Sara has also produced the informative cancer clinical trial infographic below.

ClinicalTrials2_v3_7Sept2015Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.
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