Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article about matching patients with their ideal clinical trials, which focused on the growing trend of patient advocacy groups and their efforts to encourage clinical trial participation. In addition to featuring programs being implemented by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Alzheimer’s Association, it also briefly mentioned JDRF’s program that many people with type 1 diabetes may already know about.
The Clinical Trials Connection (CTC) was started in 2009 as a way to connect people affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) with up-to-date research progress and clinical trial opportunities. Similar to an online dating service, CTC enables people to search the clinicaltrials.gov database of trials (including JDRF-funded trials) that involve diabetes cures and treatments to get information, make comparisons, and - if they are interested - directly contact trial centers.
To get started on CTC, a person with T1D or a friend or loved one can register at trials.jdrf.org and provide basic information such as current age, age at diagnosis, and the area in which they would like to find a trial. Through this web site, people can provide criteria like the type of trial they are interested in, how long they have had diabetes, and how far they'd be willing to travel, and the site will let them know about studies that match those characteristics. The site also offers flexibility by allowing the searcher to look for clinical trials on behalf of a loved one with T1D, or look for a clinical trial for him or herself, even if they don’t have T1D.
The idea of using the internet to find clinical trials is not new. Clinicaltrials.gov, hosted by the United States National Library of Medicine, an arm of the National Institutes of Health, has been in existence online since 2000 and provides information on all clinical trials from its registry of over 90,000 studies. However, CTC takes the vast, and often times daunting world of clinical research, and pares it down to the information that is most important for people with T1D.
Human clinical trials are a critical phase toward the development for a drug or therapy before becoming available to the market. Participants in clinical trials not only stand to reap any potential benefit offered by the therapy, they are also helping to pave the way for new drugs, therapies and ultimately a cure for T1D.
Since its beginning, CTC has found an audience that is ready and eager to take part in clinical trials. Support for the website has been strong since its inception, and the number of registered users continues to grow as more people become aware of the importance of participating in a clinical trial, and are eager to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others with T1D.
Great info! Thank you.
I participated in a trial a few years ago. Not only did I feel good for helping the cause, but I also got compensated for the trial I was involved in. Win win!