Consider taking part in clinical trials
Over the past two years, most of us have gained appreciation for medical research. But we likely haven't considered joining a clinical trial ourselves.
With International Clinical Trials Day celebrated last week, I want to highlight the fact that anyone -- healthy or sick, young or old -- can play a role in advancing scientific knowledge.
Clinical trials are human research studies designed to evaluate a medical, surgical or behavioral intervention, such as whether a new drug is safe and effective or whether a new treatment is better than the existing standard of care.
People participate in trials for a variety of reasons, including the desire to assist in scientific discovery as well as potential access to a broader range of treatment options. Still, fewer than 1 in 20 cancer patients participate in studies.
In reality, clinical trials are likely under way near you. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, for example, recently joined a trial studying a device that may stop internal bleeding near the brain, and every Advocate Health Care cancer clinic in Illinois is participating in a trial comparing immunotherapy drugs to chemotherapy in people with newly diagnosed brain cancer.
Here are the facts: All treatments examined in clinical trials go through years of rigorous evaluation before testing on people. Trials are free for patients. Individuals can choose to participate in or leave a trial at any time. Medical professionals provide all the information you need to make your decision, including an explanation of the treatment and your rights as a participant.
Clinical trials would not be possible without the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who participate each year -- including thousands at Advocate Aurora Health. Our participants' safety, privacy, comfort and wellness are our top priority, and we are deeply committed to maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards.
Learn more about clinical trials at Advocate Aurora by visiting aah.org/research.
Amit Acharya, Chief Research Officer and System Vice President
Advocate Aurora Health