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Your guide to clinical trials

CIRI­­­­­­­­­ — Catholic Health Initiatives Institute for Research and Innovation — is a program committed to providing advanced treatment options to CHI patients through clinical trials. A lot of people have questions about what exactly that means. Here is a quick rundown:

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial tests new treatments to see if they can improve upon the standard. They often test things including medical procedures, devices or experimental drugs, but it can also include things like behavioral therapy and preventative care.

How do we know what the best treatment is?

Most modern treatments have been found through clinical trials. Because clinical trials allow us to safely explore new avenues of treatment, we can more efficiently find ways to improve the level of care we provide while deepening our understanding of the care itself.

Are they safe?

Clinical trials have to meet high safety standards before they are even considered. A clinical trial is generally an addition or variation to the standard method of treatment.  It’s no less safe because of that.

What is the level of care?

Clinical trials provide a more cutting edge approach to treatment. Often this means that the level of care provided is actually the highest available. Along with being safe, a clinical trial has to push treatment beyond its current state, by definition providing a level of care that’s higher than the standard treatment.

Who should be involved in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials truly aren’t for everyone. CHI staff are constantly screening patients to decide if they might be good candidates for a specific trial. Commonly, clinical trials have the potential to help people when a standard treatment is unlikely to, whether that person is physically unable to withstand the standard treatment or if the standard treatment hasn’t worked for them in the past.

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