More than 6,000 clinical trials underway in Massachusetts

The Feds run a searchable site of clinical trials- tests of new drugs, devices and treatments. is a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. gives you information about a trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details.

I like to poke my head in there once in a while to see what people are studying.  A search on “Massachusetts” comes up with 6,419 trials.

Some are short and small. This one will involve 12 subjects and be finished by the end of the year. MGH is recruiting subjects for a study on “Tai Chi Mind-Body Therapy for Chronic Heart Failure”  It is one of 36 studies on the list looking at Tai Chi, which researchers define as a form of exercise that involves “both gentle physical activity and meditation”.

This study will examine the effects of a tailored tai chi program on functional capacity and quality of life in patients with HF.

Participants will be randomly assigned to either a tai chi program or heart health education for 12 weeks. Participants in both groups will undergo a bicycle stress test at study entry and will receive weekly training sessions of their assigned intervention. Self-report scales and questionnaires will be used to assess participants at study start and at the end of 12 weeks.”

Some are long. I’m sorry to say that I’ll probably be dead by the time this one is over in 2036 – hopefully not from colon cancer. My mother had it and survived so I’m a colonoscopy vet.

“The Northern-European Initiative on Colorectal Cancer (NordICC)”

This is a Norwegian study but Harvard is running one of two US sites participating.

Colonoscopy can detect and remove CRC precursor lesions and may thus be effective for CRC prevention…However, while colonoscopy screening for the prevention of colorectal cancer is established in the United States and several European countries, no randomised (sic) trials exist to quantify the possible benefit of colonoscopy screening. NordICC is a randomised trial investigating the effect of colonoscopy on CRC incidence and mortality.

I found this one interesting because I thought it was well-established that screening lowers the risk of dying. But I see that is not quite true, according to the latest guidelines from U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)


For news about H1N1 flu, check links to the right.  Here’s the latest from the Globe.

The diagnosis of a probable swine flu infection on BU’s medical campus emerged even as the future trajectory of the viral disease outbreak remained uncertain. The number of cases in the United States continued to climb – to 244 – and by yesterday, the germ had arrived in 19 nations.

 But disease trackers derived a measure of comfort from reports showing that most Americans with the illness, which is also being referred to by its scientific name of H1N1, suffer no life-threatening symptoms. Specialists also remain intrigued by the finding that most people stricken with the disease are relatively young. In Massachusetts, for example, four of the six patients with confirmed cases are 9 to 14 years old.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s