Enrolling in a clinical trial provides new hope for now and later.

A clinical trial involves research participants and follows a predefined plan or protocol to evaluate effects of a medical or behavioral intervention on health outcomes. By taking part in clinical trials, participants not only play a more active role in their own health care, but they also can access experimental treatments and help others by contributing to medical research.

Current Therapeutic Areas Involved in Research Include:

  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Urology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Gastroenterology

Types of Clinical Studies

Observational Study

A type of study in which people are observed or certain outcomes are measured. No attempt is made by the researcher to affect the outcome. For example, no treatment is given by the researcher.

Clinical Trial

During clinical trials, researchers learn if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Treatments studied in clinical trials might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. Find out more about the five phases of non-cancer clinical trials on ClinicalTrials.gov or the National Cancer Institute phases of cancer trials.

Medical Records Research

Medical records research involves the use of information collected from medical records. By studying the records of large groups of people over long periods of time, researchers can see how diseases progress and which treatments and surgeries work best.

Making an Informed Decision

Informed Consent

Before deciding to participate in a study, you will be asked to review an informed consent form. This form will provide key facts about the study so that you can decide if participating is right for you. You must sign the informed consent form in order to participate in the study, though it is not a contract — you may still choose to leave the study at any time.

Ask Questions

If you have questions when deciding to join a research study or at any time during it, ask a member of the study team. If your questions or concerns are not satisfactorily addressed, contact the study’s principal investigator, the Center for Research and Grants, or the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Risks and Benefits

All medical research involves some level of risk to participants. Risks and benefits vary depending on the particular study. To help you make an informed decision, the study team is required to inform you of all known risks, benefits and available alternative health care options.

Disease Specific Trials

Clinical trials conducted at ECU Health are primarily disease-specific. If you are interested in looking at a clinical trials by disease process, see the list of trials listed below or email us at [email protected].