Stanford

What are Clinical Trials?

CTRU Patient Doctor

Carefully planned clinical trials test new medical advances for safety and efficacy, making possible future improvements in everyday clinical practice and health-care decision making.


Clinical trials are research studies in which new treatments are tested in people to determine if they are safe and effective.

A clinical trial is a carefully designed investigation to measure the effectiveness of a medical treatment on a group of patients. The medical treatment under investigation could be a pharmaceutical product (drug), medical device, or biotechnology therapy.

A clinical trial is conducted under the close supervision of a physician investigator. It is a carefully prescribed, step by step process that assures trial subjects receive careful medical attention.

Clinical trials are strictly governed by National Institutes of Health structure and guidelines, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Good Clinical Practice (GCP) for the proper conduct of clinical research.