The thirst for human knowledge sometimes can cause drastic results. But when you are curious, you need to conduct clinical trials. Since clinical trials are a step into the unknown, humans can make grave mistakes that lead to dangerous effects over time. There have been some of those trials where many people died or went through a near-death experience. Some of the worst clinical trials that shocked the world include:
1. Leukemia clinical trials
In 2016, a biotechnology company named Juno Therapeutics launched a clinical trial for cancer immunotherapy. In the trial, doctors injected the CAR-T into the affected individuals. The CAR-T therapy can kill the malignant cells in the patients, resulting in tumor cells’ death. The multiple side effects included headaches, altered consciousness, and toxicity. However, three patients died as a result of swelling in the brain.
2. Thalidomide clinical trial
In 1956, the drug thalidomide was introduced as a sedative medicine. Later, an Australian obstetrician discovered that the medication is safe for consumption in pregnant females for morning sickness. The medicine was then available OTC for frequent use because it had no possible side effects. By 1960, over 10,000 children were born with severe impairments, including missing limbs and cleft palates. There were also multiple cases of stillborn and miscarried pregnancies. In 1961, the same Australian doctor, William Mcbride discovered the relationship of thalidomide with birth defects. Within a year, the doctors banned thalidomide worldwide. This is one of the worst cases of a clinical trial on human beings.
3. Gene therapy clinical trial
An 18-year-old was suffering from a condition called ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTC). He lacked an enzyme that does not cause the breakdown of ammonia in the body. As a result, ammonia accumulates in the liver, causing toxicity. In the late 1900s, a clinical trial started at the University of Pennsylvania, which aimed at removing the defect of the newborn at birth. The 18-year-old teen took part in the clinical trial, which resulted in a massive immune response in his body resulting in multiple organ failure and brain death.
4. The elephant man drug trial
In March 2006, 8 men took part in a clinical trial for an experimental leukemia drug known as TGN1412. The drug was successfully tested on monkeys, but there was no data of humans trials. As a result, they went through multiple organ failures and death. The clinical trial survivor recalls the horrendous experience of staying in the hospital for four weeks. After the incident, the patient had to get blood transfusions every twenty-four hours. He got frostbite in his fingers and toes, which lead to amputation.
5. John Hopkins asthma trials
A 24-year-old woman died while participating in a drug trial. Hexamethonium was a drug that was not FDA-approved. Doctors wanted to relate the action of the drug hexamethonium for asthmatic patients. The drug led to a cough which resulted in the breakdown of lung tissue and ultimately kidney failure.
6. Antipsychotic drug clinical trials
In 2003, Dr. Stephen Olson, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s recruited a young individual for a clinical trial. He wanted to study the effect of antipsychotic drugs in patients with their first psychotic episode. However, as a result of this trial, the patient’s condition kept deteriorating, and he ended up killing himself in his bathroom.
In conclusion, lack of adequate knowledge regarding human clinical trials can cause harmful effects, and these effects sometimes can be passed on to future generations.
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