Volunteer for research at UMClinicalStudies.org
Advances in medicine have led to better treatments for cancer. But none of this progress would be possible without the help of patients who volunteer to participate in research studies. That's why the University of Michigan Health System recently launched UMClinicalStudies.org, an improved website where patients can learn about clinical trials and register to volunteer.
Clinical trials are critical because they allow doctors to develop the safest and most effective treatments using a methodical, scientifically sound approach. Patients, meanwhile, receive the latest medicine has to offer while being carefully monitored by a team of experts who are leaders in their fields.
"A nationwide shortage of research volunteers is slowing progress in the fight against cancer," said Maha Hussain, M.D., associate director of clinical research for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. "But the more we empower patients with information about research and help to connect them with studies that are right for them, the better our cancer therapies will become."
UMClinicalStudies.org is one way to make that connection. The site features a wide range of resources, including a searchable database of open trials and a comprehensive guide to understanding research studies and the safety measures in place to protect those who participate. Visitors to the site can register as potential volunteers through a secure login process. When a new trial opens that matches a user's interests, the system will send an e-mail.
People who register are under no obligation to participate. If they are interested in enrolling in a study, they would be required to undergo screening to ensure they meet eligibility requirements.
"I would encourage all patients to visit UMClinicalStudies.org to familiarize themselves with the clinical studies that are available," Hussain said. "Ultimately, of course, the decision to participate is one that must be made in cooperation with a patient's doctor. But this is a good way to start a conversation about whether a clinical trial is right for you."