Patients with a urologic condition may wish to participate in a clinical trial. Clinical trials offer hope in that they are research studies that explore whether new treatments are effective. Clinical trials aim to find better ways to prevent, screen, diagnose or treat a disease or condition. They may offer a new choice for patients who have not had success with other treatments.
They teach doctors and patients about the benefits and drawbacks of a new approach to care. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all new treatments go through clinical trials before they are approved to use on the general public. They serve a vital role in medical research and treatment guidelines. People who take part in a clinical trial are helping to advance science and knowledge. Participants can make a big change in their lives and the lives of future patients.
What are clinical trials?
Clinical trials allow doctors to test advances in medicine that may be better than current approaches to care. Often, a new treatment or technique is compared to standard care. If the standard care is no treatment, then a placebo (fake pill) may be used. Clinical trials study:
- Prevention: how to reduce the risk of disease
- Screening: how to find disease early
- Diagnostics: how to test for disease
- Treatment: how to give care or fight/cure the disease
- Quality-of-life: how to offer comfort for people with longterm issues
How can I find a clinical trial for my urologic condition?
First, ask your urologist or oncologist if you qualify for a nearby clinical trial. You can also find listings of local trials through these resources:
- Urology Care Foundation's Clinical Trials Resource Center
- Studies at the National Institutes of Health: Search for government-funded clinical studies carried out by the
- National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute (NCI) Clinical Trials: Search for government-funded clinical studies by the National Cancer Institute.
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Search for federally and privately supported clinical research trials carried out in the United States and around the world. This page gives information about a trial's purpose, who may take part in the trial, locations and contact phone numbers.
- CenterWatch.com Clinical Trials Listing: Search for private clinical trials (i.e pharmaceutical group). Patients may search by medical condition, medical area (such as urology) or place. CenterWatch also offers an alert email when a clinical trial in your interest area is available.