Clinical trials are research studies conducted to improve medical knowledge related to the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of illnesses. They translate results from basic scientific research, and play a part in providing better health outcomes for patients.
They can make all the difference in the care of patients by providing doctors and patients with reliable information on the benefits and risks of new and existing treatments.
Clinical trials usually have long formal titles, and so, they are often shorten to an acronym of between three to eight letters. These acronyms are generally easy to remember, pronounce, and gives the trial an effective identity.
According to Jaime Domingues from BenevolentAI, a UK-based healthcare artificial intelligence company, potential acronyms should satisfy two conditions:
1. It should not already be in use by another clinical trial in the same or similar indication
2. It should not suggest or imply any effect or results to patients or observers (e.g. CURE)
A catchy acronym will come up in conversations of people of different ages and backgrounds. We found some amusing and interesting clinical trial names on Nature Medicine. Names like DRAGON (Safety and Efficacy for Treatment of Patients With Complicated Intra Abdominal Infections), DEVIL (Determining the Efficacy and Value of Immunotherapy on the Likelihood of Peanut Tolerance), and VIP (Vascular Inflammation in Psoriasis) are certainly more memorable than SETPCIAI or DEVILPT.
Sometimes, it is a challenge to come up with clever acronyms. Some organisations like The National Psoriasis Foundation have reached out to the public to suggest acronyms for their trials. For one of their projects, they sought suggestions on a study comparing the effectiveness of home versus clinic-based phototherapy for the treatment of psoriasis. Eventually, they chose the name: LITE.
According to Six Degrees, a brand-building agency, a strategic clinical trial name can give the study an effective identity, which ultimately helps with brand development in the long run.
Share with us some interesting clinical trial names you come across!
Lim Guan Yu