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Ever think about joining a clinical trial?

A recently published study estimates that between 10 percent and 12 percent of clinical trials are cancelled, and a lack of recruitment is often the reason why so much promising research never gets off the ground.

An event scheduled for Thursday pushes back against that trend, offering a broad-based collection of experts and other resources to help the public better understand what trials are, what they aren’t, how they work and what safeguards are in place to make sure that potential participants truly understand what they stand to gain from signing up.

Set for Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the San Diego Scottish Rite Event Center in Mission Valley, the event, dubbed “Journey to Better Health” is run by the Boston-based Center for Information and Study of Clinical Research Participation.

San Diego, along with Birmingham, Ala., New York City, Indianapolis and Houston, is among the five major U.S. cities chosen for a CISCRP seminar in 2020. The event last visited in 2017.

“We want to help demystify the clinical trial process and offer the public an event where we can answer any questions that people in San Diego may have about participation,” said Joan Chambers, the organization’s marketing and communications director. “If you have heard things about clinical trials that you’re not sure about, or want to get confirmed, this is the event that you need to come to.”

Jill Crusey, associate clinical director of Pacific Research Network, a local company that conducts clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and other areas such as narcolepsy, said that only about one in five people screened to participate in medical research actually choose to do so. More might choose to help advance science, she said, if they knew more about the safeguards built into the process.

“Participants have so many rights and protections, and most are surprised to learn that they can take as much time as they want to ask questions before they make a decision,” Crusey said. “That’s why we need events like this.”

In addition to information provided by experts, Thursday’s event will include free memory screenings from Sharp Research Institute, blood pressure and glucose screenings from Velocity Clinical Research. To pre-register for the event, visit bit.ly/afa-sd. Attendees will receive complementary refreshments and a boxed dinner.

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