LONDON, May 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Advances in medicine, treatments and care are reliant on clinical research. Every year, more than half a million people help save lives and improve health and social care by taking part in clinical studies to make these developments possible.
In 2016/17, 666,639 people took part in clinical research supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR funds, supports and facilitates the delivery of world class research in England. Their new I Am Research campaign for International Clinical Trials Day (20 May) is a chance to celebrate the essential contribution of patients and the public to research, and inform others about the opportunities and benefits.
20 May is significant as it was the day James Lind started the first ever clinical study in 1747 to test the cause of scurvy in sailors.
People are often unaware of the opportunities available to them and what is involved in taking part in research; from taking part in studies to test new treatments, to sharing experiences of living with a disease or condition, and designing studies that will better meet their needs. However, research cannot be done without them. There isn't always a research study to suit everyone, but as we know there are many other ways for people to get involved in research.
One person who knows the importance of clinical studies is 19 year old Max Williamson. Max has survived testicular cancer and took part in a research study while he was fighting the disease.
Max was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 15 years old, he delayed telling anybody because he was too embarrassed by the lump, this had a huge impact and the cancer spread making treatment options more difficult.
Max was moved to a specialised hospital which meant he could receive the cancer treatment he needed. There he was offered the chance to take part in clinical research, which he agreed to.
Four years on Max is in remission, he is now a student at University College London, studying for a Biomedical Sciences degree, a choice which has been inspired by his personal experiences. Max has also become a research ambassador for the NIHR and is a patient representative on the Teenage and Young Adult Clinical Studies Group.
SOURCE National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)