October 15, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 18)
Strong Points: Easy to search for very specific clinical trials, lots of information provided
Weak Points: Completed trials don’t necessarily post results
Clinical trials are an essential step between developing therapeutics in the lab and implementing them in human populations, and at any given time there are an enormous amount of ongoing clinical trials focused on a wide range of diseases. ClinicalTrials.gov makes it easy to search for and find ongoing and completed clinical studies. The website provides an easy-to-use search feature that allows users to search by a variety of criteria, including type of condition, study results, study status, eligibility criteria, and the intervention tested in the study. The search results link to full descriptions of individual studies, each of which includes a large amount of information about treatments being tested, estimated enrollment, outcome measures, and exclusion criteria. Additionally, the sponsor of each study is provided, as is contact information for the lead scientists conducting the trial. ClinicalTrials.gov is an excellent database for searching through clinical studies and the additional information it provides is a great resource for scientists who are implementing their own clinical trials.