Have you ever wondered how new medical treatments or medications are discovered, tested, and approved for use with the general public? Clinical trials are a critical part of that process.
Here at Retina Specialists, our team of expert ophthalmologists participates in clinical trials at our offices in Dallas, DeSoto, Plano, Mesquite, and Waxahachie, Texas. We’re actively involved in multi-centered trials on therapeutic approaches to vitreoretinal diseases. We choose well-designed, safe clinical studies so we can offer promising emerging treatments for you and your family.
What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are one of the final parts of the research process. Volunteers receive specific treatments, sometimes called interventions, that provide the researchers with data about how the treatment works and if it causes any side effects.
Clinical trials are usually the final phase of testing. While the procedures and medications have already been through extensive testing, there may still be risks, and the treatment might not deliver the expected results.
However, we participate in clinical trials because we want to offer our patients the most modern, effective treatments for retinal and eye health problems such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and age-related macular degeneration.
We work with nationally recognized laboratories and research centers that have a long history of successful clinical trials for effective and life-changing treatments.
What happens during a clinical trial?
There are several phases of a clinical trial that determine the safety and effectiveness of a medicine or treatment and help assess its long-term effects. Depending on the clinical trial phase, some patients may receive the treatment while others receive a placebo.
Each clinical trial follows a specific protocol, but the details of each trial are unique. You might need to have regular treatments or stop into the offices frequently to receive your medication.
You have routine appointments where your ophthalmologist assesses your eye health and determines if the treatment or medicine is improving your condition or preventing it from getting worse.
Am I a good candidate for a clinical trial?
The participant criteria for clinical trials are often very specific. If you have a vitreoretinal condition and are potentially facing a future of reduced vision and blindness, let us know if you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial.
Our ophthalmologists lead and participate in a variety of clinical trials, and if you meet the criteria, they can help you become a participant in the trial.
The decision to participate in a clinical trial should never be taken lightly. Make sure you understand the parameters of the trial and what’s expected of you. Our ophthalmologists are always willing to answer questions about clinical trials to help you make the right decision.
Some of the questions you should ask include:
- Why do you think this treatment might be effective?
- Has the treatment been tested before?
- What is expected of me during the trial?
- What treatments will I receive?
- Are there any risks or side effects?
- How long does the trial last?
- What type of long-term care is included in the trial?
- If the treatment works for me, can I continue to have it when the trial ends?
We want to offer you the best possible treatments to protect and improve your vision and eye health. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial, give us a call or schedule a consultation online to learn about your options and begin the screening process.