DEL MAR, CA / JULY, 2022 / Clinical trials are forms of medical research that help researchers determine if a new medical device or drug is effective. Dr. Joel Lavine is an academic physician-scientist with extensive experience in performing clinical trials and research. He is also the most cited Pediatric GI specialist in the U.S.

Dr. Lavine recently discussed the concerns and importance of clinical trials in children.

Importance of Clinical Trials in Children

Clinical trials are essential parts of medical research. They help clinicians and researchers find better ways to treat children. Children’s bodies work differently than adult bodies. They undergo countless changes as they advance from infancy into adolescence and beyond.

Clinical trials in children can help find solutions or treatments for the different diseases children face. They provide quick access to new treatment options, and the drugs or devices are often more affordable during the trial than when they are made available to the public.

A successful clinical trial can change the life of a child battling a condition. The results can also benefit others and future children born with the disease or ailment. Without clinical trials for children, dosages and treatment methods are determined by adult treatment. Medicine tested solely on adults may not be suitable for children and their current growth stage.

The following are some of the possible benefits of clinical trials for children:

  • Children gain access to treatments and drugs that are not yet available and can be more effective
  • Children in clinical trials help provide information to benefit others
  • The clinical trial often means extra care and closer monitoring and testing
  • The research team or organization may provide financial incentives

Concerns About Clinical Trials for Children

There are numerous risks associated with clinical trials in children and adults. The choice to pursue a clinical trial can be extremely difficult for parents.

Kids are unable to give consent. They may also have difficulty understanding the trial, resulting in procedural fear. Parents must make educated decisions about the clinical trials based on information provided by clinicians and researchers.

The following are several concerns parents and others have surrounding clinical trials for children:

  • The child may experience undesirable or harmful side effects that can be serious or even life-threatening
  • The child may find the treatment and research process unpleasant
  • Treatment requires a lot of time and travel
  • Treatment may include more hospital stays, blood tests, and time away from home at the study site
  • The study may require the child to follow essential and complex medical procedures or drug dosing

Dr. Lavine – Columbia and Clinical Trials for Children

Dr. Joel Lavine is a world-renowned clinical researcher. He was the Vice-Chair of Pediatrics Research at Columbia University and a Co-Chair of the NIH NASH Clinical Research Network Steering Committee for 18 years. He is one of the most cited pediatric GI specialists in the United States, having been cited over 37,000 times, according to Google Scholar.

Dr. Lavine’s success has helped find health solutions for countless children, and he hopes it will continue to do so for decades to come.