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Shaping Tomorrow's Treatments

Why Participate?

The bigger picture: from research to treatment

When you think of research, you might imagine a scientist in a laboratory standing over beakers of steaming liquids. While researchers in a laboratory work to advance science and find treatments, you might wonder how that beaker in the lab becomes the next breakthrough treatment for high blood pressure?... or chronic pain?... or even cancer? After extensive study, if a new treatment shows promise in the laboratory....

The next step may be a clinical trial.

Many of the treatments we have in Canada today are available thanks to people like you volunteering to take part in a clinical trial.

Not all clinical trials are about drugs, medical devices or treatments. Clinical trials have helped develop screening processes and prevention methods to find diseases earlier or prevent them altogether. The value of lifestyle changes like exercise and diet are studied through clinical trials, and more often, people are surviving diseases like cancer due to clinical trials.

Many Canadians live with medical conditions or chronic illnesses. Some of them need medication or require many different treatment approaches, and others live with a medical condition for which there is no cure or effective treatment. To ensure medicine and treatments can advance to meet the needs of all Canadians, the involvement of Canadian volunteers in clinical trials is critical.

To learn more information about the rights of a research participant, please review the research participant bill of rights, a document collaboratively prepared by N2 and the Harvard Catalyst group. The document is available in both English and French.

Why participate?

By participating, you may help researchers find:

The safest options

By monitoring treatment closely and watching for side effects, researchers will learn if the treatment is safe.

The best treatments

By comparing two or more treatments, researchers will learn which treatment works better.

The right

By finding new ways and methods to use existing treatments, researchers may advance medicine.

The right patients

By testing in different groups of people such as the elderly and children, researchers will learn who will benefit the most.

Clinical trials help find the safest options that deliver the best treatments in the right way to the right people who need them.

See the benefits….

There are many reasons why people may choose to participate in clinical trials. Some of the benefits of participation may include:

Finding help or treatment

New doors are opened to therapies that can improve the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses.

Benefiting yourself or others

Whether you want to help yourself or others, your contribution will benefit

Advancing medicine

By adding information to what we know about a disease or treatment.

Helping Canadians get healthier

As a whole, we have a
healthier society when
we have new treatments.

…& know the risks

There are potential risks with clinical trials. Healthcare professionals work very hard to minimize risks, but it is important to know what the potential risks are before agreeing to participate.

Speak to your doctor and healthcare team about any and all potential risks of a clinical trial. Risks may include side effects of the new treatment that can be minor, unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening.

You can learn more about risks here.

Help us find a better way

There are still many diseases without a cure or even effective treatments. We do not know why a medication may work very well in some people, but not well in others. Some medications have unpleasant side effects for some people, while other people experience few or no side effects. We need to learn more about this.

What can improve medical treatments? What can influence public health policy? Once research is done in a laboratory, clinical trials are the next crucial step, and participation by Canadians in clinical trials is important.

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