Finding Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trials
Some individuals who have multiple sclerosis have thought about or are interested in participating in clinical trials. For those who fall into these categories and who would like some assistance, there is a Clinical Trial Notification Program that can let you know about multiple sclerosis clinical trials for which you may qualify.
The Clinical Trial Notification Program (CTNP) is a project of MS News Today, an online digital publication that covers science and research news related to multiple sclerosis. Its editorial staff consists of researchers, medical professionals, journalists, and scientists.
Participation in the program is voluntary. According to MS News Today, none of the information provided by individuals will be shared with third parties except when participants grant permission.
Anyone with multiple sclerosis who wants to join CTNP is asked to complete an online questionnaire, which asks for contact information, age, form of multiple sclerosis affecting the patient, when diagnosed, treatments currently using, and symptoms. CTNP then uses that information to match individuals directly to clinical trials that are relevant.
When a potential match is made, CTNP will contact the individual via email and provide information about the trial and the company that is sponsoring it. The individual’s contact information is also sent to the clinical trial’s investigational personnel, who will then contact the patient.
Benefits and risks of clinical trials
If you have never participated in a clinical trial and/or you are curious about the pros and cons of doing so, here are a few factors to consider:
- You have access to regular, professional medical care
- In many cases, there is no cost to the participant
- You have an active role in your own health care
- You may have access to new treatments that are not yet on the market
- You may help others by contributing to medical research
- You run the risk of uncomfortable, unpleasant, serious, and possibly life-threatening side effects
- You may gain no benefit from the treatment
- The study may require you to spend time traveling to and from the study site and/or stay in the hospital
- All costs may not be covered
Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is a personal choice. If you are interested in pursuing this further, you should talk to your healthcare provider and/or check out the CTNP project. For more information about the CTNP program and the sign-up questionnaire, see the website.