What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a commissioned research study where people (patients or individuals with specific symptoms) are studied and evaluated by doctors and healthcare providers. The goal of the clinical trial is to explore and validate (or, in some cases, repudiate) new and often better ways to diagnose, prevent and treat a medical condition, disease or sickness.

At the Ear, Nose and Throat Center, we naturally focus on clinical trials that evaluate drugs, medical devices or procedures that address ear, nose and throat conditions. We may also test the efficacy of a treatment or therapy in a clinical trial. In all ENT clinical trials, we closely monitor and guard the safety and privacy of our patients and study participants.

Clinical trials are critically important in the process of improving patient care and procedures.

How to Participate in a Utah Clinical Trial

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center actively recruits our Utah patients to participate in clinical research and trials and we encourage your participation. All participants in a clinical trial are volunteers.
Please contact Holly Featherstone at 801-328-2522 to learn more about current or future Utah clinical trials.

See: Current Ear, Nose and Throat Center Clinical Trials

Why You Should Consider Participating in a Clinical Trial

Participating in an ENT clinical trial is a great way to help others and yourself. As a clinical trial participant, you will gain access to new research treatments before they are available nationwide—typically free of charge. You can also do your part to help others by contributing to the ongoing study of new therapies and treatments.

Clinical Trials Benefit All of Us

Clinical trials are important to develop new treatments and strategies to approach diseases. Many of today’s standard treatments are based on the results of previous clinical trials. In fact, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration requires approval of new drugs and therapies before they may be used widely. This is an important requirement and one that benefits all health care users in this country. Since clinical trials will help test the efficacy and safety of a new therapy or drug, ongoing research benefits all of us.

Five Types of Clinical Trials

There are essentially five types of clinical trials. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center participates in a wide range of ENT clinical trials and our trial coordinators are happy to answer questions about the goals and purposes of our current studies.

  1. Diagnostic trials help researchers identify effective tests and/or procedures to diagnose a disease or condition.
  2. Screening trials enable researches to understand effective ways to identify and detect specific health conditions or diseases.
  3. Prevention trials are performed to help researchers understand more effective ways to prevent disease or a recurrence of a disease. In a prevention trial, you may be asked to test the effect of vitamins, medicines, vaccines and minerals on your body. In other cases, researchers may ask you to make lifestyle changes and then monitor the impact of those changes on your health and well being.
  4. Treatment trials test a variety of treatments, which may include drug combinations, experimental treatments, or surgical or therapeutical approaches to treat a disease or condition.
  5. Supportive Care or Quality of Life trials focus on ways medical providers can enhance the quality of life for patients with a chronic illness or condition.

Meet the Members of a Clinical Trial Team

Should you choose to participate in an Ear, Nose and Throat research study, you will typically work with two individuals with specific roles: the Principal Investigator and the Research Coordinator.

The Principal Investigator is typically a doctor who designs, develops, conducts and oversees the clinical trial. The principal investigator evaluates patient information and data and helps other doctors manage and participate in the trial.

The Research Coordinator is the primary contact for clinical trial volunteers. He or she directs and coordinates patient care during a clinical trial and can explain your role in the trial, what you can expect during the trial, any side effects from medicines or treatment, how to understand your treatment and trial data and coordination of reimbursement for care and participation.

Four Phases in a Clinical Trial

The overall goal of a clinical trial is to expand understanding of a condition, treatment or procedure. To ensure researchers have adequate time to evaluate and understand the data, clinical trials are conducted in four phases. Each phases focuses on and answers different questions. Our research coordinator can pinpoint the phase of any local clinical trial.

  1. Phase I trials are confined to a small group of people, often between 15 to 80 participants. The goal of the phase 1 trial is to evaluate the safety, side effects and appropriate dosage for an experimental drug or treatment.
  2. Phase II trials expand the scope of the experiment by testing the impact of a drug or treatment on a group of people ranging from 100 to 300 participants to understand the efficacy of the drug or treatment and further validate its safety.
  3. Phase III trials assess the effectiveness of a drug or therapy, monitor side effects and compare the outcomes to commonly used treatments or drugs. This phase expands the scope of the study to a large group of participants, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 people.
  4. Phase IV trials are conducted once the drug or treatment is approved for use in the larger market and focus on the benefits and risks of the drug, procedure or treatment.

Contact Us with Questions

Thanks for your interest in Ear, Nose and Throat Center Clinical Trials. Please contact Holly Featherstone at 801-328-2522 to learn more about current or future Utah clinical trials.

See: Current Ear, Nose and Throat Center Clinical Trials