Are there different types of clinical trials?
The answer is yes. Treatments are firstly studied in laboratories, in order to see if they can be beneficial to prevent or treat a disease. Before doing research on people, studies are made with cell lines and animals to test their safety and seehow they affect the body.
When researchers are sure that a drug is safe and useful, studies are performed with people through different phases. We can group the studies into two major stages: early phases and later phases.
The early phase usually includes a small number of patients or a healthy population. In the case of studies foused in pediatric patients, healthy children will never be included in any of the study phases. The goal of this phase is to check the safety level of the drug before studying it with a larger group of children.
The later phases include a larger number of people, and aim to find the dose that works best according to age groups and the benefits that this treatment can offer compared with other treatments that may exist.
In these phases usually patients are randomly divided in order to be able to make comparisons. This process is called randomization or scrambling.
Both phases are also performed with studies related to medical devices, such as a new glucose meter or pacemaker.