Why Are Clinical Trials Needed?

Clinical trials are only a small part of the research that happens in development of a new treatment. Simply speaking, trials show researchers what works and what doesn’t in their idea. They are the only way to learn what works best in developing new or improving existing vitiligo therapy.

Clinical trials are designed to answer two important questions:

  1. Is the new treatment safe? Do the benefits of the new treatment outweigh the possible risks? This must be answered while realizing that no medical treatment or procedure is entirely without risk.
  2. Does the new treatment work in humans? In other words: Is it better than what’s now being used? Is it causing less side effects? Or does it work in some people who are not helped by current treatments?

Answering these questions, while exposing as few people as possible to an unknown treatment, often requires several different clinical trials. They are usually grouped into phases. Each phase is designed to answer certain questions, while trying to make sure the people taking part are kept as safe as possible. Every new treatment is tested in three or more phases before being considered as safe and effective as possible.

For vitiligo patients, clinical trials can offer access to promising new treatments, often before they become available in clinics. In addition to having the potential to benefit from the latest treatments, vitiligo patients who participate in clinical trials will help researchers learn about vitiligo and how to treat this neglected skin disease. If you are interested in participating, or you are a doctor needing information for patients, please click here to see a list of ongoing clinical trials from around the world.

Can You Help Us?

Patients are key to the success of clinical trials, but there is always a shortage of patients willing to participate. We need to know why patients are often unwilling to take part.

We want to understand clinical trials from the patient’s perspective and build an accurate picture of the attitude of the vitiligo community to clinical trials. This will help us change the approach to clinical trials and make them a more attractive prospect for patients, which will ultimately help everyone.

If you are a patient, or a doctor involved in vitiligo treatment, then please get in touch to tell us your thoughts on clinical trials. Your opinion could prove invaluable.

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