International Clinical Trials Day

The International Clinical Trials Day, celebrated by the scientific community all over the world on May 20, recalls the likely date of the first clinical trial registered, performed by James Lind, and views to recognize the importance of all professionals that work in the area – from volunteers, researchers and pharmaceutical laboratories to regulatory entities and scientific publications –, contributing for advance in modern Medicine, similarly to that British physician. This is also a priority area for Grupo Luz Saúde, in which units about 300 patients already participated in clinical trials, since 2009.

James Lind was a surgeon aboard a ship of the British Royal Navy, when, on 1747 May 20, surrounded by sailors with scurvy, he decided to do an experiment. He recruited 12 men with symptoms of the disease, divided them in pairs and administered them six different treatments: a quarter of cider per day; 25 drops of vitriol elixir three times a day; half a litre of seawater a day; a paste of garlic, mustard, radish, Peru balsam and myrrh, three times a day; two spoons of vinegar three times a day; and two oranges and one lemon per day. At the end of the week, the sailors that had ingested citrines were well enough to take care of the others.

This research work allowed James Lind to realize that citrines fight scurvy, helping him to save lives aboard the ship, but also to establish the bases to test treatments and achieve the best therapeutics for patients – being considered a milestone in the history of randomized clinical trials, as we know them today. 

Much has changed since the days of Lind, but to proceed to clinical trials is still the best way to discover the advantages and disadvantages of a drug or treatment.

At Grupo Luz Saúde, Hospital da Luz Learning Health promotes and supports clinical trials performed in different units. With its research centre, Hospital da Luz Learning Health coordinates teams of professionals dedicated to clinical investigation, having already performed, since 2009, 96 clinical trials, involving 293 patients. These patients could, thus, benefit from therapeutics with innovating potential in our hospitals.