Clinical trials are a type of medical research that studies new tests and treatments to evaluate their effects on human health. The purpose of clinical trials is to find improvements or discoveries for disease diagnoses, treatments, or new approaches to current therapies or treatments.
There are more than 30,000 new clinical trials across the globe each year, and this number is growing fast. Since 2000, there has been a 15-fold increase in the number of clinical trials registered annually.
MediFind helps you stay on top of all of these potential opportunities. We capture all active clinical trials and clinical trial data, and our team of medical experts summarize each study. Our Clinical Trial Search asks you a series of questions to help narrow down the list of trials based on your health condition, age, sex, location, how far you’re able to travel, and key terms like specific biomarkers. With each question you answer, the total number of trials is filtered down so you can easily see trials that are most relevant to you. You can always expand or change your search, including adjusting filters such as trial status, phase, and intervention type.
This information can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor about clinical trials. It’s recommended that you work with your doctor to evaluate risks and benefits of clinical trials, as well as to see if you qualify for specific trials and pursue enrollment.
Each clinical trial goes through different stages of activity, which are commonly called “recruitment status.” Trials that are actively recruiting or enrolling participants include those marked as “recruiting,” “open,” and “enrolling by invitation.” These are the trials that patients have the highest likelihood of being able to get into, since researchers are actively identifying participants.
“Active, not recruiting” means that the clinical study is ongoing (that is, participants are receiving an intervention or being examined), but potential participants are not currently being recruited or enrolled.
“Not yet recruiting” means that the study is still being set up by researchers, and may start to recruit participants in the near future. These are upcoming clinical trials.
Clinical trials that have been completed do not appear in MediFind’s Trial Search. Instead, the findings are summarized by our team and can be found in the Latest Research section for any health condition.
Each clinical trial has four to five phases of testing. In phase I, researchers assess the amount of a treatment dose that can be safely administered to patients without serious side effects. Phase II test subjects receive the new treatment and continue to be monitored for side effects. In phase III, the experimental treatment is compared against the standard treatment to determine safety and effectiveness. Phase III trials are often longer than phase I and II and may even be conducted at hospitals. After phase III, the FDA may approve the new treatment, at which time it enters phase IV. In phase IV, researchers test the safety and effectiveness of the newly approved drug over time.
All clinical trials study the effect of some intervention to evaluate its effect on human health. This intervention is often a drug, but can also be a procedure, behavioral intervention, genetic intervention, medical device, diagnostic test, radiation, dietary supplement, or biological intervention. MediFind allows you to filter clinical trials by intervention type.
Many clinical trials are relevant only for people with a specific disease subtype or variant. Sometimes, this has to do with disease progression, such as whether a cancer is metastatic or not. Other times, it has to do with whether a patient has been treated with another drug or therapy before. In addition, many diseases, especially types of cancer, have specific targets or biomarkers that impact treatment decisions, such as HER2, PD-L1, ALK, EGFR, ROS1, bTMB, MSI, NTRK, TMB.
MediFind allows you to search for terms that help you further refine the clinical trials that are likely to be most relevant to you in the “key terms and targets” field.
While we’ve built the Clinical Trial Search to help you filter through thousands of trials and find the ones that are most relevant to you, you may not necessarily qualify for all of the clinical trials you find. Each trial has set inclusion and exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria are characteristics that people must have if they are to be included in the study, while exclusion criteria are those characteristics that disqualify people from inclusion in the study. You can read about each clinical trial on MediFind to see the inclusion and exclusion criteria.
It’s important to work with your doctor and have an informed discussion about clinical trials, including potential risks and benefits, if you’re interested in exploring these trials further.
From the thousands of ongoing clinical trials, MediFind can help you find the ones most likely to be relevant to you. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you qualify for every one. All trials have specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, which determine if you’re eligible to be included in that trial or not.
While it’s possible to go through the clinical trials registration process or enroll directly in a clinical trial yourself, it’s strongly recommended to work with your doctor throughout this process. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks and benefits of clinical trials, determine which trials are most appropriate for your specific situation, and start the formal enrollment process should you qualify and decide to move forward. Working with your doctor also ensures that they receive updates about your care from the clinical trial team, so you’re getting the best care possible.
If you do decide to try to enroll in a clinical trial yourself, it’s important to tell your doctor if you are accepted to the trial. This helps them make sure they’re managing any potential drug interactions and monitoring your overall health appropriately.
Should you find a trial of interest (and that you qualify for), and choose to try to enroll directly, you can usually contact the trial organizers via phone or email. The researchers will then set up an appointment with you to make sure you’re a match for their study, which may involve having an exam, reviewing your past medical records, and testing such as bloodwork. They will also explain the study and talk to you about “informed consent,” which is a document you’re required to sign that explains all the details of the trial including risks of participating. Other information that is generally covered as part of informed consent includes: how the study will be conducted, participant requirements, risk and benefits of participating, duration of the study, cost to you (if any), payment to you (if any), and contact information for the key individuals running the study.
Expanded access, sometimes called “compassionate use” allows patients access to investigational drugs (not yet approved by the FDA) outside of clinical trials when alternatives are not available. Investigation drugs are offered during clinical trials, but when they are used outside of a trial, the action is labeled “compassionate use.” The FDA offers more information on expanded access here.
While not exhaustive, please explore our guide to clinical trials here. If you’re interested in understanding more about clinical trials, you should work directly with your doctor.
While there are thousands of new clinical trials every year, some of the most active health conditions include:
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Colorectal cancer (CRC)
Cystic fibrosis (CF)
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
HER2-positive breast cancer (HER2+)
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
Mantle cell lymphoma
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Sickle cell disease
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC)
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC)
Ulcerative colitis (UC)