At Main Line Health, we believe that research is essential to improving
health care. Medical breakthroughs can change and save lives. Our goal
is to quickly translate research findings into clinical care that
benefits you and all of our patients.
What are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate new medical
approaches for diseases and help researchers learn which approaches are
more effective than others.
There are a wide range of clinical trials:
Studies of treatments with medications, medical devices,
procedures or combinations of treatments for conditions such as
cancer and heart disease
Studies of preventive medicines, vaccines, vitamins, minerals
and lifestyle changes
Studies for better ways to screen for the presence of diseases
Studies of better ways to provide comfort and improved quality
of life for chronically ill people
The ideas and approaches developed in these studies often result in
significant advances in science and medicine. A number of treatments
that are now standard were first shown to be effective in clinical
Why Clinical Trials are Safe
Each type of trial—prevention, screening, treatment or quality-of-life
must follow specific guidelines to ensure your safety and privacy, and
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must give its approval before
testing begins in people. Every clinical trial conducted in the United
States must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board
(IRB) to make sure the risks are as low as possible and are worth any
potential benefits. An IRB is an independent committee of physicians,
statisticians, community advocates and others who ensure that a clinical
trial is ethical and your rights are protected.
Clinical trials follow detailed “rules” called protocols that explain
exactly how researchers must conduct the trial, including the criteria
for participation, schedule of procedures and treatments, and the length
of the study. As the trial progresses, researchers must report the
results of the trial at scientific meetings and in medical journals as
well as to various government agencies.
While participating in a clinical trial, you will be under the close
supervision of a team of experts for your condition and the type of
medical approach being studied, and you will be monitored closely for
any reaction you may have, good or bad. Your safety is our priority.
Why Clinical Trials are Important to You
Involvement in a clinical trial is strictly voluntary, but if you choose
to participate, you may experience benefits to your personal health. You
would also be playing an important role in advancing scientific
knowledge and helping future patients.
Here are some benefits you could receive as a participant in a clinical
Access to promising drugs, medical devices, or treatment
approaches before the general public
Free or subsidized health care for the duration of the trial
A more active role in your own health care
Expert medical care at a leading health care facility
Close monitoring of your health care and side effects
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.