On any given day, hundreds of clinical research trials are under way at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) and throughout Cleveland Clinic. These carefully monitored trials are what make medical advancements possible. It is thanks to participants in clinical trials that we can save more lives every day and continue to improve national healthcare practice standards.
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Clinical studies range from basic research on a new medication to the development of medical devices. Currently, HVI investigators are conducting studies on everything from drugs to help reduce obesity to the development of a new and more efficient artificial heart.
“When we ask our patients to participate in a trial, it is with their healthcare needs
Benefits of participation
“These trials play a major role in our ongoing effort to innovate and find the very best treatments and therapies for our patients,” says Cardiothoracic Surgeon A. Marc Gillinov, MD. “Clinical trials offer hope to those with illness and an opportunity for others to get special attention for their health issue or disease.”
By participating in a clinical trial, you can play an active role in your healthcare, have early access to new treatments, and receive careful medical attention from a research team. You also have the great potential of helping others by being part of medical advancements for the future.
Patient safety always comes first
“One of the first questions people have about being part of a trial is about its safety,” says Dr. Gillinov. “You can rest assured that we are following rigorous standards to make sure that our clinical research trials are safe.”
Each trial is conducted according to a carefully designed plan – or protocol – that safeguards participants and seeks to answer very specific research questions. According to the National Institutes of Health, protocol determines the following:
- who is eligible to participate;
- details about tests, procedures, medications, and dosages;
- what information will be gathered and the length of the study.
A principal investigator, often a doctor, leads the study, and research team members closely monitor each participant’s health to assure that it is a safe and effective trial.
“When we ask our patients to participate in a trial, it is with their healthcare needs in mind,” says Dr. Gillinov. “And we invite you to ask questions and look at the data so the trial is right for you. When you participate in a study you are helping us and yourself by advancing medical science.”
At HVI, the goal is to develop and test new cardiovascular disease treatments and therapies and to make them available to our patients as soon as possible. These efforts are part of Cleveland Clinic’s enduring legacy of innovation.