Double-Blinded Clinical Trials

A Gift from the Devil’s Grandmother


By Thomas E. Serena MD, FACS, FACHM, FAPWCA

Editor’s note:This blog post is part of the WoundSource Trending Topics series, bringing you insight into the latest clinical issues and advancement in wound management, with contributions by the WoundSource Editorial Advisory Board.


I do not know the origin of the phrase “…a gift from the devil’s grandmother.” I first read it in Einstein’s letters to Schrödinger. Einstein employed the phrase to describe his fear of failing to find a unified theory of relativity and quantum physics. The problem appeared unsolvable.


A similar gift in the field of clinical trial research in wound healing appeared on my doorstep recently. I started my research career conducting double-blinded pharmaceutical trials. After a string of failures, I convinced myself that advanced therapy in chronic wounds was doomed; however, cellular and/or tissue-based products (CTPs) entered the market with encouraging results, brightening my spirits. To date, our cooperative group of investigators has published more than a dozen trials demonstrating the efficacy of CTPs in the treatment of diabetic and venous ulcers … read more