3. Why are clinical trials needed?


The only way to really know how well a treatment works in people is to carefully study the treatment in people. A new treatment may or may not be better than an existing one and a clinical trial is needed to find out.

Clinical trials are important studies where doctors and researchers compare treatments. They carefully study the information they gather so they can find out if the treatments are effective, safe and how best to use them in children and teenagers.

We need to know how effective the treatments we use are, we do this by studying:

• How well specific treatments work in teenagers like you

• How safe the treatments are and by finding out if they have any side-effects.

This is very important for everybody, but it is really important for teenagers because many treatments we use have only been studied in adults.

Teenagers often have different medical problems than adults, so the treatments may work differently. Also, teenagers may react differently to treatments and so could have different side-effects.

Trials are often used to test new treatments. They can also be used to look at new ways of combining or using existing treatments to see whether giving them in a different way will work better.