What is a Clinical Research Study?

A clinical research study is a scientific way to improve health care. Studies can be designed to answer specific questions on how to better prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases and disorders. Clinical Trials involve testing new medicines or devices. They are important to the discovery and confirmation that treatments actually improve the patient health.

  • Current Asthma Institute studies can be found at this link.
  • Additional information can also be found at Clinical Trials.Gov.

Volunteers participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons: some volunteers may hope to improve their health by accessing interventions before they become widely available, others may also wish to help advance science for the benefit of the larger population with the disease. Experimental and established medications are provided to qualified participants at no cost. Most participants report that their participation in clinical studies increases their understanding of their disease and how to manage it.

When a participant calls for information about our studies, we provide them with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their health, and the benefits and risks of participating in a clinical study. Potential participants are encouraged to ask questions, such as: “What is the purpose of the clinical trial? What can you tell me about the drug or device that will be studied? How long will the clinical trial last? What are the risks? What are the possible benefits? Who will see the information that is collected?” Once a participant enrolls in a clinical trial, they may leave the trial at any time for any reason.

Safety is a top priority for Dr. Wenzel and her research staff. We take pride in the conduct of these studies, and we do our best to provide study participants with excellent care. In addition, the federal government has regulations to protect research volunteers; all research studies and clinical trials in the United States must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is made up of scientists, doctors, and community people who review research studies and clinical trials to make sure that volunteers are as safe as possible.

There are several clinical trials being conducted at the Asthma Institute. Some are investigating innovative ways to treat asthma by focusing on Eosinophils, or inflammation of the airways. Other studies examine different contributing factors, such as obesity. All of our studies require patient information related to health and asthma history, and lung function. We are especially interested in improving the lives of people with severe or difficult to treat asthma.

These studies benefit participants and asthma sufferers all over the world; by discovering how asthma works, we can work to advance asthma treatment. Information gathered from these studies not only helps the Asthma Institute develop a better understanding for the treatment of asthma; the data is used by other collaborative centers all over the nation. All of the medicines we currently have for asthma treatment were developed through clinical trials. To further our research and continue discovering treatments, we need participants—like you!

To learn more about any or all of our clinical trials, please call our toll free number: +1 (866) 804-5278 or email us at asthmainstitute@upmc.edu.

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