Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is the scientific term for the step-by-step process that studies or tests in humans a new procedure, drug, vaccine or device for prevention, treatment, screening or quality of life. The majority of clinical trials conducted in the United States test new drugs

  • Prevention trials look at drugs, vaccines or lifestyle changes that may help prevent disease.
  • Diagnostic trials look at ways of detecting or finding out more about a disease.
  • Treatment trials may monitor new drugs or evaluate new combinations of established treatments.
  • Screening trials may be conducted to find out if a screening test (such as for prostate cancer) is useful in detecting the disease at an early stage and, as a result, reduce the number of deaths from the disease.
  • Quality of Life trials may study the psychological impact of the disease and ways to improve a person's comfort and quality of life.

Clinical is a resource provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Explore 359,518 research studies in all 50 states and in 219 countries. Parents and others can find federally funded research programs by consulting this NIH Web site.
See listed clinical studies related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
IMPORTANT: Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.

Before participating in a study, talk to your health care provider and learn about the risks and potential benefits.

NBCI Clinical Approach to HED

The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) will conduct itself with the highest ethical standards in advocating clinical trials participation by our faith based communities. The mission of NBCI clinical program is to increase the representation of African Americans in clinical trials. It is imperative that African Americans participate in clinical trials to assure that our population receives the benefits of cutting edge drug therapy and modern medical practice.

This is a major pillar in our efforts to deal with issues of health disparities. NBCI seeks to assure our faith base communities of the value, benefits, protections and trustworthiness of the clinical trials for which it advocates and encourages participation. In doing so, NBCI itself must be assured of the protections and the appropriateness of the protocols and the processes. Therefore, we have adopted a set of core principles that will govern our decisions regarding involvement in any clinical trial:

There must be complete education of the potential clinical trial participants regarding the requirements of the trial as well as the risks and the benefits to patients with respect to their participation. In addition to assuring that protocols are consistent with religious values and ethical standards, NBCI will guarantee that the clinical trial meets with all regulatory requirements including but not limited to:
  • Ongoing inform consent process including signature of properly constructed document by all trial participants or their legally authorized representative;
  • Proper review and approval by a duly constituted and certified Institutional Review Board;
  • Accessibility of resource for answering all participants' questions in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner;
  • An appropriate period for patient deliberation on the decision to participate;
  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate literature, video, and web based education modules concerning the trial when these tools are used.
Participants must be assured of an easy process for reporting serious life threatening or non-life threatening side effects and acceptable emergency procedures for receiving care in a timely manner.
NBCI will advocate for participation of patients in clinical trials with clinical investigators that have been trained in Good Clinical Practice regulations, ethics, and cultural competence.
There must be adequate indemnification by sponsor, legal safeguards for program participants and host agencies addressing issues of liability for the test product and the trial.
NBCI requires that there be adequate resources to launch and sustain a church/community based awareness program regarding all aspects of the trial.
All agreements must be in writing with proper legal review by involved parties. There must be sufficient budgetary commitment to the trial facilitators as well as partners and participants depending on the nature of the trial.
NBCI must be assured of adequate resources for completion of the clinical trial and achieving and reporting the knowledge of benefits and risks for diverse populations participating in the trial.

The National Medical Association (NMA) wants to provide more information on clinical trials and links to other sources for clinical trial information. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Indians, Asian Americans, and women, had generally not been part of drug clinical trials.

Studies show sometimes drugs work differently in African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Indians, Asian Americans, and women. It is important to make sure we get the best results in all people.

The pamphlets below include information on clinical trials and questions that you should ask before participating.

You've Got the Power! Clinical Trials Fact Sheet
What You Should Know About Clinical Trials

NBCI Seeks Newly Diagnosed Men and Women Breast Cancer Patients Who Are Members of Our Churches

Image of two women, one older, one younger and more athletic We would like to inform you of a study for men and women with breast cancer using Ribociclib (Kisqalii®) and Letrozole (Femarai®), two drugs that are already approved by the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration).

This combination of drugs is available on the market for certain breast cancer patients, but is still considered experimental for others. This study is called CompLEEment-1 (protocol number CLEE011A2404).

How the Public Learned About the Infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study

In this 1950's photo released by the National Archives, a nurse writes on a vial of blood taken from a participant in a syphilis study in Tuskegee, Ala. As the fight over reforms to the American health-care system continues this week, Tuesday marks the 45th anniversary of a grim milestone in the history of health care in the U.S.

On July 25, 1972, the public learned that, over the course of the previous 40 years, a government medical experiment conducted in the Tuskegee, Ala., area had allowed hundreds of African-American men with syphilis to go untreated so that scientists could study the effects of the disease.

Understanding Options for Blood Cancers

Topics Covered
  • The role of clinical trials in blood cancer treatment
  • How clinical trials are designed
  • How to determine the best treatment option for you
  • Talking to your healthcare team about treatment options

John P. Leonard, MD
Associate Dean for Clinical Research
Weill Cornell Medical College
New York, NY
March 18, 2015

Q&A Session
  • Are you a Patient looking for Disease/Treatment Information?
  • Home Clinical Trials or Standard Treatment?