clinical trial


Definition of clinical trial 

: a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (such as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects

Examples of clinical trial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Patients would have to be ineligible for clinical trials and first try all other available treatments. Laurie Mcginley, Washington Post, "Former FDA commissioners say right-to-try bills could endanger ‘vulnerable patients’," 18 Mar. 2018 Before and after quantitative data for the clinical trials? Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "People Are Worried Tati Westbrook's New Beauty Supplement Could Affect Birth Control," 7 Mar. 2018 Artificial intelligence to better target identify both experimental drug candidates and the right patients for clinical trials—and a more streamlined supply chain—could go a long way. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "The Diseases We Aren't Curing—And Why," 6 Feb. 2018 Other foundations are raising money for clinical trials. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Veterans' grass-roots movement shares health benefits of marijuana," 28 Apr. 2018 Using this procedure, the agency can, for example, approve a medication that shrinks tumors without waiting for clinical trials to show whether patients actually live longer. Robert Pear,, "Massachusetts wants to curb drug spending for the state’s Medicaid program," 31 Mar. 2018 That three of five patients remain alive today supports the case for formal clinical trials, UCL says. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "Two controversial stem cell trials could harm patients, critics say," 29 Mar. 2018 And now, after six years and a clinical trial led by UCSF, the drug is available for others. Lizzie Johnson,, "Berkeley boy was ‘Patient X’ in first FDA-approved medicine derived from marijuana," 8 July 2018 Some offer services such as connecting you to other patients and caregivers who have already been through treatments or help finding specialists or clinical trials. Beth Kassab,, "Facing a medical crisis: To Google or not to Google?," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clinical trial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clinical trial

1946, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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The first known use of clinical trial was in 1946

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clinical trial


Medical Definition of clinical trial 

: a scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects

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