Though still in operation, the NIH funded Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP), which started 14 years ago, is now officially closed to new enrollees. Sadly, it looks like SARP will be the last large observational study of severe asthmatics, at least for the foreseeable future.
The good news, is that there’s still a lot of valuable data being collected from the study and made available to researchers around the world to continue the fight. A huge thank you to Dr Wenzel and too all the other researchers for their continuing efforts in this field.
In the meantime, there are still plenty of industry studies and clinical trials ongoing for people with moderate to severe asthma. (At last count there were well over 1,000 asthma related studies listed on clinical trials.gov)
If you’re interested in volunteering as a research subject, I can highly recommend the research departments and staff at the University of Pittsburgh’s Asthma Institute and the University of San Francisco’s Airway Clinical Research Center
If you’ve never been involved in a study, ask yourself these questions:
* What is the purpose of the study?
* What is required of me?
* What is my role in the study — am I a healthy volunteer or a patient volunteer?
* Will the study directly benefit me?
* Will the study benefit others?
* Are there risks? If so, what are they and what are the chances that they will occur?
* What discomforts are involved?
* What is the total time involved?
* Are there other inconveniences?
* Have I discussed participation in the study with those who are important to me, such as family and friends?
* Do I wish to participate in this study?
It’s time to end the suffering that this horrendous disease causes. There’s a lot of promising research going on right now, but they can’t go forward without human test subjects. I know it can be difficult to find the time required to get involved , but many of these studies will compensate you for your efforts….some will even pay your travel expenses. If you have moderate to severe asthma and are healthy enough to travel, you might also consider the studies conducted at the NIH.
If volunteering is not for you and you have a few extra bucks, consider making a financial contribution to an asthma research program of your liking. Scientific research requires money… and lots of it!