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Website makes finding a clinical trial easier

While we’d all like to have straightforward medical diagnoses with simple solutions, some of us get thrown curveballs: a rare disease that strikes fewer than 1 in 10,000 people, or a life-threatening illness with no known cure. In these cases, entering a clinical trial may make sense for patients. The government’s Clinicaltrials.gov website can be difficult to navigate, making it tough to find the appropriate trial to enter, even when a doctor is searching.

“You have to be pretty sophisticated when searching this site since drugs are often listed by their original names, which are a bunch of letters and numbers,” said Dr. David Ryan, chief of hematology and oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Now there’s a new website called Myclinicaltriallocator.com that is designed to be more user-friendly. Folks at Mass. General, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute contributed to its development. While the new site relies on the government database for clinical trial information, it also provides updates from the academic medical centers where enrollment is taking place, and a list of trials outside the United States.

Ryan was impressed when using the new site, though he said some trials were missing from the listings. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” he said.

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