JDRF funds type 1 diabetes (T1D) clinical trials that are critical to bringing new devices and treatments to people with this disease. Currently, there are more than 70 JDRF-funded clinical trials, to both prevent and treat this disease and its complications. We hope that, ultimately, these trials will lead to a cure for T1D.
Many people, however, are not aware of the various opportunities to participate in clinical trials and may find it difficult to identify trials that may be right for them.
You might be thinking that a clinical trial is scary and unpleasant. The reality is that many clinical trial participants report a positive experience. In a 2017 study, 91 percent of clinical trial participants surveyed said they would “definitely” or “probably” recommend clinical trial participation to a friend or family member.
Or you might be thinking that a clinical trial might help people in the future but won’t do anything for you right now. But the reality is that clinical trials may provide you with access to new medical advances. In some cases, participants are able to continue the therapy after the end of the trial, if it’s found to be effective.
Local JDRF volunteer Bill Andrews, of Falls Church, VA, took part in a ten week trial at the The University of Virginia Center for Diabetes Technology in the spring of 2019 to test automated insulin delivery technology. He described his experience in the trial as “far better than I had anticipated and my expectations at the outset were pretty high.”
Said Bill, “I was deeply impressed by the thoroughness of the research investigators in explaining the purposes of the trial, conducting the training and responding to questions or concerns. Although the clinical trial was conducted to test the efficacy of the automatic insulin delivery system, and although management of my diabetes always remained the responsibility of me and my endocrinologist, I felt that the welfare of the study participants was always a paramount concern of the research investigators.”
Bill also thought that taking part in the trial was beneficial not only for himself, but the T1D community at large. “I want to do everything I can to advance the possibility of a cure as well as technologies that will make T1D management easier and safer until the day that a cure is found. While I surely will benefit from technological advances such as the automated insulin delivery system, for me, participating in the trial was all about my granddaughter who has T1D, Anna.”
Interested in the possibility of taking part in a clinical trial? JDRF has an easy-to-use tool to find a clinical trial that might be right for you. The online Clinical Trials Connection asks users some simple questions about themselves before matching them with trials for which they are eligible. Clinical Trials Connection uses your city, distance you’re willing to travel and other characteristics to narrow down hundreds of trials to the ones in which you might be interested. You can try it out here.