Participating in Clinical Trials

Wake Gastroenterology and its divisions work closely with Wake Research Associates in conducting clinical studies to forward the development of new and improved opportunities for treatment of various diseases.  Many of our doctors are actively involved in these studies, participating as trained investigators.  Clinical research is a crucial part of medical advancements. Research helps medical professionals bring quality medicine to patients all around the world. A clinical trial is a significant part of medical research, and is a way to gain knowledge about a potential new drug or therapy, or further examine a currently approved drug. Clinical trials provide the necessary information to ensure the safety and efficacy of a potential new drug. However, a clinical trial cannot be conducted without willing participants.

There are two types of volunteers, a healthy volunteer and a volunteer who has an illness for the new drug/therapy that is being investigated. Both types of volunteers are helping to advance medicine. Without participants it would be very difficult to know whether or not a drug is safe, whether the drug works, and about the possible side effects these new drugs may cause. Safety comes first and there are guidelines put in place to ensure the safety of all participants. Not every willing participant will qualify for a clinical trial. There are risks and benefits to participating in a clinical trial.

There may be the risk that one could be harmed from the drug or therapy that is being examined causing the potential for hospitalization or other medical intervention. There is also the risk that a participant will experience side effects from the drug they are receiving which can range from mild to severe. On the other hand, there are many benefits such as helping to further break-through drugs, gaining access to new potential treatments and therapies that have not yet been released to the general public, regular medical care and attention by medical professionals, and possible compensation.

Although there are risks to clinical trials, every effort is made to keep participants safe from harm. There are a number of ethical guidelines and protocols put into place to protect anyone participating in a clinical trial from potential harm. When deciding to participate in a clinical trial it is important to ask the study team as many questions as you may have to ensure you are completely comfortable with all the procedures that will be taking place during the trial.

Participating in a clinical trial can be very rewarding and it can help save the lives of so many people. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial and would like more information, visit Wake Research’s website at or call 919-781-2514 to find out if you may qualify.


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