Stanford Web Site Aims To Boost Clinical Trial Recruiting
Stanford University researchers have created a Web site to market clinical trials in an effort to boost recruiting, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Steven Alexander, medical director of a campus group that oversees clinical trials at Stanford, said a shortage of subjects is the "primary reason" clinical trials fail.
The shortage stems from challenges in marketing clinical trials and difficulty finding enough applicable participants for conditions that are rare, according to the Chronicle.
Nona Gamel, a Stanford clinical research manager in psychiatry, contends that doctors are reluctant to recommend clinical trials for patients in case they end up receiving a placebo instead of treatment.
Gamel said she is concerned many clinical trials will move overseas, where it is easier to recruit subjects but more difficult for researchers to maintain control.
Stanford's new Web site not only expands the university's recruitment efforts but also is part of a nationwide push toward greater transparency in clinical trials.
In 2005, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors began requiring researchers to register clinical trials on a federal government Web site before enrolling patients in order to publish their results in a reputable journal.
Before the mandate, researchers did not have to register trials, making it easier to hide negative results, according to the Chronicle.
Stanford's nearly 300 registered clinical trials rank among the most in the world for universities.
The university's trials cover a range of conditions, including lower back pain, sexual dysfunction, cystic fibrosis and leukemia (Sturrock, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/8).