An academic or non-commercial trial is a clinical trial that is not initiated and funded by a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company for commercial ends. These trials are organized by a public non-profit institution, usually a university or university hospital. The main goal of academic clinical trials is the improvement and optimization of already existing therapies (phase III trials). Most of the trials in children with cancer are large academic international therapy optimization trials in order to improve the existing treatment.
Commercial trials are run by pharmaceutical companies, which take responsibility to initiate and fund the trial. A large number of new anti-cancer drugs have become available in recent years. Currently, only a few of these new drugs are approved for paediatric use. However, paediatric clinical trials assessing the use and usefulness of these drugs in children, are gradually becoming more frequent.
No, participation in a clinical trial is voluntary. Even after you agreed to participate, you are free to withdraw your child from a clinical trial at any moment without having to justify. This will not affect the medical follow-up of your child or the quality of the subsequent care or relationship with your child’s doctor. Your child will always receive the best care and a child’s best interest remains always primordial.
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