Breakthroughs in Clinical Research

Clinical research enables doctors and researchers to develop a better understanding of diseases. With the knowledge afforded by clinical trials, medical professionals can work toward improving disease detection and prevention, developing more accurate diagnoses and discovering innovative treatments and medicines, all of which can improve and lengthen lives.

The first controlled clinical trial recorded was performed by James Lind in 1747. Although his successful research results were dismissed for decades, Lind actually discovered the cure for scurvy. The use of placebos was first recorded a century later during the research for a rheumatism remedy. Another famous, successful clinical trial was the United Kingdom Medical Research Council’s common cold Patulin treatment double blind, controlled research study in 1943. That Patulin clinical trial paved the way for the streptomycin tuberculosis landmark clinical trials in 1946.

Vaccine development through clinical trials has also played a crucial role throughout history. We are all, of course, well aware of the vaccines produced to battle COVID-19 during the recent pandemic, but there have been a multitude of vaccines developed throughout the course of history, such as the first vaccine for smallpox which was developed in 1796. The World Health Organization followed that innovation with a global vaccine campaign from 1958 through 1977, which ultimately eradicated that contagious disease.

The rabies vaccine, developed in 1885 by Louis Pasteur, gave rise to a wide range of beneficial vaccines and antitoxins, including those for diphtheria, cholera and typhoid fever. Vaccine research and development were also very prevalent during the 20th century, leading to successful vaccination discoveries for polio and then common childhood diseases such as measles, the mumps and rubella.

Today, clinical research is leading toward even more innovations in vaccines, including those based on new DNA technology and offering new delivery techniques; and vaccine research is continually expanding.

Usually, clinical trials are associated with the development of new medicines. However, clinical trials are also vital to the development and introduction of diagnostic tests. Clinical trials were used to test the accuracy and efficacy of X-rays, MRIs and CT scans before their introduction to and implementation on the general population. The clinical testing for diagnostic tests differ from pharmaceutical clinical trials in that they use a comparative study format as opposed to randomized control trials. In addition to the central role clinical trials play in the development of medications, treatments and diagnostic tools, clinical research is also used to improve and develop medical procedures. For example, the risk of recurrent strokes can be procedurally decreased due to research conducted in clinical trials.

Clinical trials are also the source of a large array of successful cancer treatments. Focusing only on Yale University findings just to give you an idea of the massive scope of clinical trial results as it relates to cancer treatment: Chemotherapy was first used in 1942; Cytarabine, which can decrease blood cells in bone marrow, was researched in the 1950’s; leukemia resistance discoveries were made and Methotrexate was developed in the 1960’s; the first bone marrow transplant was performed in 1988; Survivin, which is linked to the detection of certain cancers was discovered in 1998; the efficacy of new cancer therapies were tested from 1998 through 2004; the link between HPV and cervical cancer was uncovered in 2001; digital diagnostic technology for the purpose of analyzing microarray cancer research specimens was developed in 2002; melanoma research began in 2006 and lung cancer research, which is ongoing to this day, began in 2015.

Unfortunately, cancer isn’t our world’s only disease leading to a high rate of death. About every 40 seconds someone in the United States suffers from a heart attack, making heart disease America’s number one killer and a primary focus of a large number of clinical trials. For example, the Framingham Heart Study, conducted by The National Heart Institute in Framingham, Massachusetts and spanning from 1948 to 1951, pinpointed certain risk factors, including the fact that smoking and high blood pressure increase the risk of myocardial infarction.

The epidemiologic connection between high cholesterol and heart disease was reported in the Seven Countries Study, which began in the mid 1960’s. Through clinical research, University of Minnesota Physiologist Ancel Keys studied 15,000 middle-aged men throughout seven countries and found that a high level of cholesterol is linearly proportional to the incidence of heart attack.

Additionally, new medications including beta blockers (predominantly used to manage abnormal heart rhythms and to treat high blood pressure), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (for high blood pressure), and thrombolytic (clot dilution) therapy were all developed in the 1970’s through clinical research. Anticoagulants (blood thinners) and statins (lipid lowering medications) have also been more recently developed.

Without a doubt, since the first controlled clinical trial for scurvy in the 1700’s, clinical trials have helped patients receive better care and improved their quality of life. If you would like to become a clinical trial volunteer and play a vital role in improving medical knowledge and patient care, feel free to contact the research professionals at Velocity Clinical Research facility for more information. You can reach Velocity Clinical Research at 386-428-7730 Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.; email info@riversideclinicalresearch.com or access the patient portal on the Velocity Clinical Research website at riversideclinicalresearch.com to learn about our upcoming clinical trials and see if you qualify.

Setting the pace in clinical research and medical advancements created through clinical trials, Velocity Clinical Research is an award-winning research facility staffed with highly trained doctors and research professionals. We work one-on-one with our clinical trial volunteers to monitor and assess the benefits and effectiveness of certain treatments throughout the clinical trial process. Velocity Clinical Research clinical study volunteers are compensated, no health insurance is required and clinical research volunteers may benefit from the use of medications or treatments before they are available to the general public. Velocity Clinical Research is conveniently located at 1410 S. Ridgewood Avenue in the beautiful beachside community of Edgewater, Florida.