How do I find a UVA clinical trial for my patient?
UVA Health System currently has two methods to search clinical trials, depending on the type of disease.
For active cancer clinical trials, you may start by reviewing the listing here. The trials are listed by disease area, and the PDF is also searchable. This form is updated monthly and is always accessible via the Physician Resource Clinical Trials page.
If you think a study may be appropriate for your patient, please contact the study coordinator listed for that trial. The contact information for each study coordinator can be found at the end of the document. The study coordinator will be able to discuss the parameters of the study and work with you to determine if your patient is a candidate for participation.
UVA has a searchable online database listing active clinical studies. The link to this database is always accessible via the Physician Resource Clinical Trials page.
Within the database, you may search by disease type, health status, patient age or by key word. (Note: While there are some oncology studies featured here, the most current listing for cancer trials is the PDF list mentioned above.)
Once you find a study you think may be appropriate for your patient, click on the title to review the full description. The overview specifies whom to contact for additional information. This contact will be able to discuss the study in further detail and work with you to determine if your patient is a candidate for participation.
What should I communicate to my patient about clinical trials?
Many patients are now familiar with clinical trials. Some may come to you with inquiries about specific studies; however, they will still need your assistance as they navigate the process. If your patient is not aware that clinical trials are available, you may suggest them as a possible treatment option. Prior to recommending a particular trial, you can call or email the study coordinator to determine if your patient may be a candidate for participation based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. Here are some additional points to keep in mind:
- Patients are better able to make an informed decision when they are educated on the purpose, risk and benefits of a particular trial. This informed consent process will help them decide whether to participate. A printable brochure that provides patients with an overview of the risks and benefits of trial participation can be found here.
- A patient may stop participating in the study at any time, for any reason.
- There is no guarantee that a trial will have a positive outcome for the patient.
- Not all patients are eligible for every study.
- Every clinical trial has a protocol, which tells you the plan of what will be done during the study and why each part of the study is necessary.
- In cancer treatment studies, patients will receive treatment for their cancer. No one gets a placebo instead of necessary treatment. In most cancer treatment studies, patients will receive either the most accepted treatment for their cancer OR a new treatment that doctors hope will be better.
- A patient has the right to ask questions throughout the study.
What is my role if my patient enrolls in a study?
Two-way communication between your office and the team leading the study is essential to ensure your patient’s involvement is favorable. Each time your patient visits UVA as part of the clinical trial, his or her clinical notes will be shared with you.
If the patient comes to you for care during the course of the study, you are advised to consult with the study coordinator or physician prior to any change in treatment, especially if a new medication is to be prescribed. Once the study ends, you should continue to share information with study leaders regarding changes in the patient’s health status or survival. This information is critical to ensure trial success.
Please email us if there are additional questions related to clinical trials that are not included on this list. We’ll be happy to provide you with an answer.
Dina Halme, PhD, Associate Director for Research Program Administration, UVA Cancer Center
Goga Radakovic, Director of the Cancer Center Office for Clinical Research