Help yourself now and help others in the future
New medical advancements are made possible through our clinical research trials, giving you access to advanced treatment options for various conditions. But before you agree to participate in a research study, it’s important you know what to expect.
Our clinical research team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers and other healthcare professionals that will ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable experience. The process of every clinical trial depends on the type of trial you are interested in, and each trial varies in length. Some studies may last a few weeks; others may last months, even years. Our research team will work closely with you so that you understand the time investments that will be required of you and answer any questions before you agree to participate.
Your health will be assessed before the trial begins and after it concludes, as well as at different points throughout. Once the trial finishes, you will receive instructions on how we will keep in touch.
We encourage you to ask questions if this is your first time participating, and our staff is here to answer them thoroughly. We want you to be as well-informed as possible leading up to your participation. Basic pre-trial questions include:
- What is this research about? How does this research help the treatment of my disorder?
- Why am I an ideal candidate?
- How does participating in this trial benefit me?
- What are the possible risks this research poses to my health?
- How will this trial differ from the treatment I am already receiving?
- What happens at the end of this study?
- How much of my time will this research trial require?
- What happens if I no longer want to participate?
We’re delivering innovative therapies to our communities through medical research. To learn more about clinical research trials, visit the Novant Health facility closest to you.
Frequently asked questions
What is a clinical trial? -
Clinical trials are research studies that involve patient volunteers to help find different ways to treat diseases such as cancer. Each study is designed to answer specific scientific questions and find better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer.
Why are clinical trials important? -
Clinical trials are vital to the fight against cancer because they determine if a new treatment is safe and effective. Today’s research will help us improve tomorrow’s cancer care.
What happens during a clinical trial? -
When someone chooses participate in a clinical trial, the care they receive is much like the care they would otherwise receive. However, there is often additional monitoring to learn about the potential side effects and benefits of the clinical trial. Some trials study new drugs, devices or combination therapy. Throughout the trial, patients are monitored closely by their physician and research nurses who are specially trained in cancer research.
Should I participate in a clinical trial? -
This is a very personal decision. Your healthcare team can help you determine if a clinical trial is right for you. We encourage you to talk with your family and loved ones before deciding. Clinical trials may be found to be more or less effective than current standard treatments and may have side effects not yet known. You will be informed of these risks as much as possible, but be assured that your healthcare team will give you the information you need to make the decision that is right for you.
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Clinical trial phases
Phase 1 studies -
Phase 1 studies are the first introduction of an investigational new drug into humans. These studies are closely monitored and may be conducted in patients or normal volunteer subjects.
Phase 2 studies -
Phase 2 studies are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a drug for a particular indication or indications in patients with the type of cancer under study. The goal of Phase 2 studies is to determine the common short-term side effects and risks (if any) associated with a new drug.
Phase 3 studies -
Phase 3 studies are performed after there is preliminary evidence suggesting that a new drug is effective for cancer treatment. In a Phase 3 study, researchers gather the additional information about the effectiveness and safety that is needed to evaluate the overall benefit-risk relationship of the drug. In addition, information from a Phase 3 study is used to provide guidelines for physician labeling.
Phase 4 (or post-marketing) studies -
After the Food & Drug Administration has approved a drug for marketing, Phase 4 studies gather additional information about the drug's risks, benefits and optimal use.
Talk with your doctor to determine if a clinical trial could be right for you. You may call the Novant Oncology Research Institute in Charlotte (704-384-5369) or the Novant Clinical Research Institute in Winston-Salem (316-277-0910) to learn more about current trial participation opportunities.