Clinical Trials in General

Clinical trials are the backbone of medical research.  A current list of Beta Glucan clinical studies is listed further down this page.  The studies listed are in various stages of evaluation and may take years to complete. Beta Glucan is one of the most studied treatment therapies,  as a standalone treatment, in conjunction with other therapies to determine the efficacy of improved outcomes, as an immune system booster, and as a prophylactic treatment (improve treatment outcome by using BEFORE a surgical treatment).

A clinical study involves research using human volunteers (also called participants) that is intended to add to medical knowledge. There are two main types of clinical studies: clinical trials and observational studies. includes both interventional and observational studies.

Interventional Studies

In a clinical trial (also called an interventional study), participants receive specific treatments according to the research plan or protocol created by the investigators. These treatments may be medical products, such as drugs or devices; procedures; or changes to participants’ behavior, for example, diet. Clinical trials may compare a new medical approach to a standard one that is already available or to a placebo that contains no active ingredients or to no comparable treatment. Some clinical trials compare interventions that are already available to each other. When a new product or approach is being studied, it is not usually known whether it will be helpful, harmful, or no different than available alternatives. The investigators try to determine the safety and efficacy of the intervention by measuring certain outcomes in the participants. For example, investigators may give a drug or treatment to participants who have high blood pressure to see whether their blood pressure decreases.

Clinical trials used in drug development are sometimes described by phase. These phases are defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Note: Some people who are not eligible to participate in a clinical trial may be able to get experimental drugs or devices outside of a clinical trial through an Expanded Access Program. See more information on expanded access from the National Library of Medicine.

Observational Studies

In an observational study, investigators assess health outcomes in groups of participants according to a protocol or research plan. Participants may receive treatments, which can include medical products, such as drugs or devices, or procedures as part of their routine medical care, but participants are not assigned to specific treatments by the investigator (as in a clinical trial). For example, investigators may observe a group of older adults to learn more about the effects of different lifestyles on cardiac health.

Every clinical study is led by a principal investigator, who is often a medical doctor. Clinical studies also have a research team that may include doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals. Clinical studies can be sponsored, or funded, by pharmaceutical companies, academic medical centers, voluntary groups, and other organizations, in addition to Federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Physicians, health care providers, and other individuals can also sponsor clinical research.

Clinical studies can take place in many locations, including hospitals, universities, doctors’ offices, and community clinics. The location depends on who is conducting the study. The length of a clinical study varies, depending on what is being studied. Participants are told how long the study will last before enrolling.

In general, clinical studies are designed to add to medical knowledge related to the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of diseases or conditions. Some common reasons for conducting clinical studies include:

  • Evaluating one or more treatments (for example, drugs, medical devices, approaches to surgery or radiation therapy) for treating a disease, syndrome, or condition
  • Finding ways to prevent the initial development or recurrence of a disease or condition. These can include medicines, vaccines, or lifestyle changes, among other approaches.
  • Evaluating one or more treatments aimed at identifying or diagnosing a particular disease or condition
  • Examining methods for identifying a condition or risk factors for that condition
  • Exploring and measuring ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of people with a chronic illness through supportive care

Participating in Clinical Studies

A clinical study is conducted according to a research plan known as the protocol. The protocol is designed to answer specific research questions as well as safeguard the health of participants. It contains the following information:

  • The reason for conducting the study
  • Who may participate in the study (the eligibility criteria)
  • The number of participants needed
  • The schedule of tests, procedures, or drugs and their dosages
  • The length of the study
  • What information will be gathered about the participants

Who Can Participate in a Clinical Study?

Clinical studies have standards outlining who can participate, called eligibility criteria, which are listed in the protocol. Some research studies seek participants who have the illnesses or conditions that will be studied. Other studies are looking for healthy participants. And some studies are limited to a predetermined group of people who are asked by researchers to enroll.

Eligibility. The factors that allow someone to participate in a clinical study are called inclusion criteria, and the factors that disqualify someone from participating are called exclusion criteria. These are based on things such as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions.

How Are Participants Protected?

Informed consent is a process in which researchers provide potential and enrolled participants with information about a clinical study. This information helps people decide whether they want to enroll, or continue to participate, in the study. The informed consent process is intended to protect participants and should provide enough information for a person to understand the risks of, potential benefits of, and alternatives to the study. In addition to the informed consent document, the process may involve recruitment materials, verbal instructions, question-and-answer sessions, and activities to measure participant understanding. In general, a person must sign an informed consent document before entering a study to show that he or she was given information on risks, potential benefits, and alternatives and understands it. Signing the document and providing consent is not a contract. Participants may withdraw from a study at any time, even if the study is not over.  See Questions to Ask a health care provider or researcher about participating in a clinical study.

Institutional review boards. Each federally supported or conducted clinical study and each study of a drug, biological product, or medical device regulated by FDA must be reviewed, approved, and monitored by an institutional review board (IRB). An IRB is made up of physicians, researchers, and members of the community. Its role is to make sure that the study is ethical and the rights and welfare of participants are protected. This includes making sure that research risks are minimized and are reasonable in relation to any potential benefits, among other things. The IRB also reviews the informed consent document.

In addition to being monitored by an IRB, some clinical studies are also monitored by data monitoring committees (also called data safety and monitoring boards).

Various Federal agencies, including the Office of Human Subjects Research Protection (OHRP) and FDA, have the authority to determine whether sponsors of certain clinical studies are adequately protecting research participants.

Relationship to Usual Health Care

Typically participants continue to see their usual health care providers while enrolled in a clinical study. While most clinical studies provide participants with medical products or interventions related to the illness or condition being studied, they do not provide extended or complete health care. By having the participant’s usual health care provider work with the research team, the participant can make sure that the study protocol will not conflict with other medications or treatments being received.

Considerations for Participation

Participating in a clinical study contributes to medical knowledge. The results of these studies can make a difference in the care of future patients by providing information about the benefits and risks of therapeutic, preventative, or diagnostic products or interventions.

Clinical trials provide the basis for the development and marketing of new drugs, biological products, and medical devices. Sometimes, the safety and the effectiveness of the experimental approach or use may not be fully known at the time of the trial. Some trials may provide participants with the prospect of receiving direct medical benefits, while others do not. Most trials involve some risk of harm or injury to the participant, although it may not be more than the risks related to routine medical care or disease progression. (For trials approved by IRBs, the IRB has decided that the risks of participation have been minimized and are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits.) Many trials require participants to undergo additional procedures, tests, and assessments based on the study protocol. These will be described in the informed consent document for a particular trial. A potential participant should also discuss these issues with members of the research team and with his or her usual health care provider.

To assist in understanding a particular clinical study having a glossary available to help understand the terminology used in the study description is provided by the National Institute of Health. Please feel free to use it when assessing the below list of Beta Glucan trials…

Beta-glucan on Fecal Microflora in Polypectomized Patients

Condition(s): Polypectomy; Adenomatous Polyps Last Updated: September 2, 2009 Recruiting

Effect of Beta-Glucan on Cholesterol Lowering

Condition(s): Above Optimal Blood Cholesterol Last Updated: August 8, 2011Active, not recruiting

The Effect of Beta-glucan in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Condition(s): Non Small Cell Lung Cancer Last Updated: April 22, 2013Recruiting

The Glycemic Response Elicited by Beta-glucans of Different Physical Properties and Form

Condition(s): Type 2 Diabetes Last Updated: June 1, 2012Completed

Effects of Orally Administered Beta-glucan on Leukocyte Function in Humans

Condition(s): Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes Last Updated: May 31, 2013Recruiting

Beta-glucan and Insulin Sensitivity

Condition(s): Obesity Last Updated: July 27, 2011Recruiting

Beta-Glucan in Treating Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Condition(s): Lung Cancer Last Updated: February 14, 2013Active, not recruiting

Beta-Glucan and Monoclonal Antibody 3F8 in Treating Patients With Metastatic Neuroblastoma

Condition(s): Neuroblastoma Last Updated: March 19, 2013Active, not recruiting

Beta-Glucan and Monoclonal Antibody in Treating Patients With Metastatic Neuroblastoma

Condition(s): Neuroblastoma Last Updated: January 17, 2013Completed

Imprime PGG, Alemtuzumab, and Rituximab in Treating Patients With High Risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Condition(s): B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Stage 0 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Stage I Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia; Stage II Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Last Updated: November 7, 2012Recruiting

Effect of the Molecular Weight of Oat β-glucan on Its Ability to Lower Serum Cholesterol

Condition(s): Hypercholesterolemia Last Updated: June 20, 2011Completed

Beta-Glucan and Rituximab in Treating Young Patients With Relapsed or Progressive Lymphoma or Leukemia, or Lymphoproliferative Disorder Related to Donor Stem Cell Transplantation

Condition(s): Leukemia; Lymphoma; Lymphoproliferative Disorder Last Updated: March 18, 2013Terminated

Safety of Soluble Beta-Glucan (SBG) in Treatment of Patients With Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Condition(s): Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Last Updated: March 2, 2009Completed

Rituximab Plus Beta-Glucan in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia(CLL)/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL)

Condition(s): Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic; Lymphoma, Small Lymphocytic Last Updated: April 8, 2013 Terminated

Effect of Dietary Fibre and Whole Grain on the Metabolic Syndrome

Condition(s): Metabolic Syndrome Last Updated: April 18, 2012Completed

Efficacy and Safety of Fermented Barley on Decrement of Body Fat in Obese Subjects

Condition(s): Overweight; Hyperlipidemia Last Updated: November 26, 2012Completed

Metabolic Effect of New Foods Through Gut-brain Axis

Condition(s): Obesity; Overweight Last Updated: May 14, 2013Not yet recruiting

Effects of Oligofructose and Barley on Satiety and Energy Intake

Condition(s): Appetite Regulation Last Updated: October 20, 2008Completed

Soluble Beta-glucan (SBG) as Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Condition(s): Chronic Diabetic Foot Ulcers Last Updated: January 25, 2010Completed

Lung Cancer Vaccine Plus Oral Dietary Supplement

Condition(s): Lung Cancer Last Updated: April 10, 2013

Biological Therapy in Treating Patients With Neuroblastoma That Has Not Responded to Previous Treatment

Condition(s): Neuroblastoma Last Updated: January 15, 2013Completed

Effect of SBG in Patients With Breast Cancer

Condition(s): Breast Cancer Last Updated: February 17, 2010Completed

Influence of Dietary Fiber-rich Meals on Gene Expression and Postprandial Glucose and Lipid Response

Condition(s): Hypoglycemia; Hyperglycemia Last Updated: October 29, 2009Completed

Early Diagnosis of Candidiasis in Premature Infants

Condition(s): Infection; Candida; Candidiasis; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Low Birth Weight; Infant, Small for Gestational Age; Infant, Premature Last Updated: January 9, 2011Completed

Impact of Consumption of Oats in Lipid Profile of Children and Adolescents With Dyslipidemia

Condition(s): Atherosclerosis; Hypercholesterolemia Last Updated: April 19, 2012Recruiting

Safety and Efficacy Study of Oral XIGO Tablets to Treat The Common Cold

Condition(s): Common Cold Last Updated: July 23, 2012Completed

Beta Glucan Assay in Patients Receiving Voriconazole Prophylaxis

Condition(s): Leukemia; Fungal Infection Last Updated: August 1, 2012Completed

Dose Escalation Safety Study of MM-10-001 in Healthy Subjects

Condition(s): Healthy Last Updated: May 12, 2008Active, not recruiting

A 12-week Human Trial to Compare the Efficacy and Safety of Polycan on Bone Metabolism

Condition(s): Bone Health in Perimenopausal Women Last Updated: October 10, 2012Completed

Randomized Study of Caspofungin Prophylaxis Followed by Pre-emptive Therapy for Invasive Candidiasis in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Condition(s): Invasive Candidiasis Last Updated: April 8, 2011Completed





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