Frequently asked Questions (FAQ)
Why is Science important for my health?
Every reliable medical treatment nowadays is scientific based. This means, that underlying principles of diseases, biochemical deregulations, immunological disorders and malignant transformations (cancer) are all first worked on in biological and biomedical research, then they get "translated" into the standard treatment procedures that your GP offers to you.
Often treatment options are not really "state-of-the-art", as knowledge transfer from research to clinic takes quite some time, and many physicians do not follow inventions in treatment approaches too closely. So you might not get the most effective treatment when seeing your doctor.
Does it make sense to get scientific advice in unsolved health issues?
In short: yes, definitely! Scientists and physicians study closely together at university and often work together in biomedical research. The often focus on the same topics and read the same publictions, at least as long as the physicians are still at a clinic and involved in clinical research. When a physician becomes a GP he / she will most likely not invest too much time any more in advanced training and reading about new biomedical research findings (except they are involved in clinical studies) but treat patients in an empirical way: what has worked already should work again.. but every patient is different! Hereby you might miss access to new scientific findings and therefore miss out on new treatment options.
Does it make sense to participate in a clinical study?
It depends! It is statutory to investigate every new pharmaceutical in mutiple clinical studies from phase I-III before the manufacturer obtains an approval to produce and distribute it. Especially in clinical studies phase III patients are enrolled in larger numbers, so this might be offered to you (phase III: efficacy confirmation in comparison to standard of care and/or competitor pharmaceuticals). In rare cases you might be asked to participate in a phase II trial (phase II: study of toxicity, dose finding and proof of efficacy), if there is no alternative treatment for your condition available. As new treatment approaches need to proof effectiveness and (since a couple of years) an additional benefit compared to competitor medications to be paid by your health insurance, not every treatment approach that might be administered to you necessarily is advanta-geous for you personally.
Often studies are "blinded", so the patient (and sometimes "double-blinded", so the attending physician also) does not know what kind of treatment she / he is receiving/ applying to that particular patient until the study is completed.
But for every study the pharmaceuticals or cellular components to be tested are clearly specified ahead, so I can access these data and provide you detailed recommendations on the options you have and on their expected benefit in comparison.