As a result of our research efforts, our patients often have early access to promising investigational drugs and devices, radiation therapies, and surgical techniques that offer types of care that would not otherwise be available. The benefits of taking part in a study include:
- High-quality care
- Access to new treatments or new drugs
- Close monitoring of your health for any side effects
- A chance to help others and improve treatment options
- Some portion of treatment may be paid by the clinical trial
Clinical trials are one of the final steps in a long research process. Before new treatments are used in research studies involving people, they are tested in labs or on animals. Once people are involved, they are called clinical trials.
Clinical trials aim to assess the safety and effectiveness of:
- A new medication or device on a specific kind of patient
- A different dose of a medication than is commonly used
- An already marketed medication or device for a new purpose
- Whether the new medication or device is more effective for the patient's condition than standard therapy
Most clinical trials go through a series of phases:
The first studies conducted in people that measure the safety of a drug, including how it is absorbed, metabolized and secreted within a person's body.
This phase measures the safety and effectiveness of a drug given to people diagnosed with the condition the drug is being tested for. Many phase II trials use a process called randomization, in which some patients receive the investigational drug and others receive the standard treatment or placebo as part of a control group.
These are randomized and blinded trials which provide more information about how the investigational drug works, including information on side effects and long-term use.
This phase occurs after a drug has been FDA-approved for use and can be obtained by a prescription. These trials compare the newly approved drug with similar drugs currently in use, to monitor the new drug's long-term effectiveness and impact on a patient's quality of life.
All clinical trials must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB ensures the protection of the rights, safety and well-being of volunteers involved in clinical research trials.
Since the early 1980’s, MultiCare has had an Institutional Review Board. It includes a membership of both scientific and non-scientific members and both institutional and non-institutional members as required by the FDA and OHRP.