Clinical Trials & Research

Treatment trials and care research

Even at the most advanced medical centers with the most up-to-date care, not all conditions and diseases of course can be controlled or cured.  In addition, medical staff and the healthcare system track adjustments large and small to many types of care, introducing and measuring refinements that may improve and innovate care.  Sometimes, when standard care is not adequate or individuals want to avail themselves of the most cutting-edge treatment approaches –– or simply agree to contribute to expanding medical knowledge –– they may chose to participate in investigational care.  In these cases, they have the opportunity to enroll in treatment still under research and not in standard use.

But for investigational care, patients must seek out qualified, participating centers, and they must match specific requirements for eligibility.  The severity and other specifics of the disease or condition, and previous treatment, or simply type of care to be received, are among criteria considered for grouping patients for new and promising variations or strategies of care.  Many of the trials represent partial adjustments to established approaches to treatment.
Clinical trials offer the potential for patients to benefit themselves and other patients as well.
Aria actively participates in such trials, as part of its role as a leading community medical center and member of a number of research networks.  When Aria doctors or other staff members deem a patient eligible or potentially eligible for a protocol, they seek fully informed consent.  For an open clinical treatment trial, they work with the clinical trials coordinator, who may assist in reviewing the eligibility criteria with physician and patient, determining any additional testing needed, explaining the trial to the patient, and completing consent and enrollment steps.  In other more routine research, the attending staff my simply review a research procedure with the patient and seek approval and enrollment at the time of care.

If the patient is undergoing a major treatment, the coordinator follows the patient through the trial care, visits patients during treatment appointments, and generally serves as an important contact and resource for them during investigational care.  The coordinator helps to record the course of the treatment and its outcomes, and submit the results for eventual analysis.

Just like any types of care, research procedures or clinical trials provide no guarantees of success or improved effectiveness, but they offer a choice for patients who may not have other steps available to them, who want to contribute to care development, or who want to appreciate the possible benefit of innovations in care.  In some cases, trial treatment can prove successful or otherwise improve a patient’s outcome.

For more information on clinical trials, please call 215-612-5296.