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A research protocol is a study whose objective is to improve the knowledge of the frequency of occurrence, mechanisms and treatment of a disease.
A distinction is made between basic research protocols, which aim to improve understanding of the causes of the disease, and clinical and therapeutic research protocols, the objectives of which are to better understand the disease and test new treatments, or therapeutic strategies compared to a reference treatment or placebo.
Inclusion in one of these protocols can only happen after obtaining the agreement of the patient who has read an information sheet and signed an informed consent. The implementation of a research protocol requires finding a sponsor, obtaining the agreement of an advisory committee for the protection of persons, and obtaining funding for the implementation and practical execution of the study.
Research protocols in systemic lupus are increasingly numerous. These are often European or international protocols. Over the past 15 years, they have led to many advances in the management and knowledge of new therapeutic targets. High hopes are currently pinned on new immune-modulating drugs being evaluated.
Many teams around the world are interested in lupus research, whether basic or clinical, with or without evaluation of new drugs. This research is increasingly international. Participating in a research protocol evaluating a new lupus drug allows early access to an innovative molecule.