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Grey Literature in Health

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research investigations in which people volunteer to test new treatments, interventions or tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage various diseases or medical conditions. This helps to determine if a new intervention works, if it is safe, and if it is better than the interventions that are already available.

Why do we need clinical trials?

Clinical trials are essential to the development of new interventions. This is because computer simulation and animal testing can only tell us so much about how a new treatment might work and are no substitute for testing in a living human body.

In health research including unpublished studies and ones with negative results, when eligible and appropriate, is important for minimizing bias.

Clinical Trials Registers

Clinical Trials registries can be searched to identify trials at various stages from registration of protocol to completion, and which might not necessarily ever be published or indexed in databases.  The two main registries are ANZCTR and ClinicalTrials.gov.

Understanding Clinical Trials

This animation explains what clinical trials are, how they are conducted, and why they are important for patients with diseases like pancreatic cancer. It also provides an overview of study design, eligibility criteria, informed consent, safeguards, different phases of clinical trials, and the potential benefits and risks of participation

The Hidden Side of Clinical Trials

The AllTrials campaign claims that around half of the clinical trials done on medicines we use today are not published: "a tragic truth that needs to be changed, to help doctors do their job properly and to not betray the trust of all those who have volunteered to be part of those trials"