Lupus Clinical Trials: Frequently Asked Questions

Clinical trials for lupus research potential new treatments, and need volunteers to take part. The research process can be confusing, though. If you're interested in finding a lupus clinical trial but don't know where to start, we've collected a list of some of the most common questions patients ask about research participation.

How do I find lupus clinical trials near me?

There are currently 136 clinical trials for lupus – including SLE, CLE, and lupus nephritis – looking for volunteers. All trials are listed on clinicaltrials.gov, but because the website was designed for researchers rather than patients, it can be difficult for those without a research background to navigate. You can also talk to your doctor about clinical trial options, though with busy schedules, not all doctors keep up to date on trial options. Another way to find a trial is by using a search tool. Nonprofits like the Lupus Research Alliance include a search tool on their website. You can also use tools like Antidote Match. Answer a few questions about your lupus, then see a list of trials you may qualify for along with their contact information.

What is the goal of lupus clinical trials?

Every clinical trial sets a goal before launching. Some aim to research whether a potential new treatment is effective against one or multiple symptoms. Others may have a primary focus on treating symptoms, but will also monitor for changes in disease progression. Trials for generic versions of available drugs test for biosimilarity – that they work just as well as the already-approved drug.

Who can join clinical trials for lupus?

Clinical trials all have different inclusion and exclusion criteria that determine who may participate in order to maintain the integrity of the trial. Criteria may include disease severity, time since diagnosis, and current medications. If you don't qualify for one trial, you may be the right fit for another. For example, some people believe that only those who have been recently diagnosed qualify for clinical trials, but trials also look for volunteers at other points in their disease.

What treatments are currently in development for lupus?

Current clinical trials are exploring a range of potential options to treat lupus skin problems, damage to organs, and other symptoms. Some treatments aim to better improve symptoms with fewer side effects than existing options for lupus.

Find featured lupus clinical trials.

What are the benefits and risks of participating in lupus clinical trials?

The benefits of joining a clinical trial, for lupus or any condition, include the opportunity to access potential new treatments, receive care from experts in your condition, and help move research forward. Risks include the chance the treatment won't work, or that you will experience unwanted side effects. Some people are more comfortable participating in trials at later phases that have already been tested in people. You may also feel more comfortable participating in a trial that allows you stay on your current treatment, or tests a potential new option against an existing treatment rather than a placebo. If you're considering joining a clinical trial, ask the study team any questions you have that would help you make your decision.

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