Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Clinical Trials We and Others Publish: How Do They Compare in Number and Content with Non-Pediatric Trials?

If you read our author guidelines, you will note that we request any clinical trials be registered through a national or international trial registry before the start of the study. This allows you to be sure that the trial is on file regardless of whether or not the findings are significant or prove the hypothesis intended and that what you read are not just the studies that “worked.” In the United States, the registry used is located online at ClinicalTrials.gov. Over the years it has amassed an enormous number of studies, both adult and pediatric, from which we can learn in aggregate just what is and is not being studied in pediatric health. To sort through the registry, Pasquali et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-3565) share a descriptive overview regarding types of trials, therapies studied, where they are being performed (nationally or overseas) as well as how pediatric trials compare to non-pediatric trials.

Even if you are not a clinical trial investigator, this article is well-worth your attention since it provides an overview of what is happening in pediatric research today (and what is not happening as well). Needless to say the number of adult trials is more than ten times that of pediatric trials. After reading this article and realizing how small the amount of pediatric research is compared to adult, how can you not be an advocate for improving children’s health through more funding for pediatric basic science, clinical and translational studies!