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Participate in a clinical trial

Clinical trials - What is a clinical trial?

The Australian Clinical Trials, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) describes 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. Some investigations look at how people respond to a new intervention and what side effects might occur. 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.

Clinical trials might also compare existing interventions, test new ways to use or combine existing interventions or observe how people respond to other factors that might affect their health (such as dietary changes).

The World Health Organization (WHO) definition for a clinical trial is: ‘any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes’.

Clinical trial interventions include but are not restricted to:

  • experimental drugs
  • cells and other biological products
  • vaccines
  • medical devices
  • surgical and other medical treatments and procedures
  • psychotherapeutic and behavioural therapies
  • health service changes
  • preventive care strategies and
  • educational interventions.

Researchers may also conduct clinical trials to evaluate diagnostic or screening tests and new ways to detect and treat disease. Please click below for more information from the Australian Clinical Trials site regarding:

For anyone interested in being part of a clinical trial, the first step is finding out more about trials in general and what is involved in a particular clinical trial. It is a good idea to seek out information from a number of sources.

There is a wealth of information available on the Australian Clinical Trials website and other websites about clinical trials in general, why a person may want to be part of a clinical trial, the ethics and regulation of clinical trials in Australia and how to find a trial that is relevant.

You can use the search function on the Australian Clinical Trials Registry to find trials that you may be suitable for in Australia, and browse the listings of clinical trials websites and links for further information.

Metro South Health clinical trials – open for recruitment

Those interested in participating in Translational Research Institute (TRI) clinical trials and research projects are able to access the TRI Clinical Trials and Research Studies page and register their interest.

Alternatively, patients are encouraged to speak with their treating practitioner in relation to clinical trials which may be available.

Last updated 25 May 2018
Last reviewed 18 May 2018