How clinical trials help your patients
Clinical research trials, or studies, are aimed at advancing or improving treatment options in all areas of medicine. Veterinary oncology studies may involve existing or new treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and immunotherapy, among others. Many of these trials also provide insight into how the treatments being studied in dogs may be translated to help people with cancer. Clinical trials are conducted largely at colleges of veterinary medicine and at some private specialty referral hospitals.
For some trials, the patient must be brought to the trial location (or sometimes multiple locations), but others involve testing or procedures that can be completed at the primary veterinarian’s office.
It’s important to keep in mind that the safety and/or efficacy of the regimen being studied may have been proven already in laboratory animals, or in healthy dogs or cats, which may make your clients more inclined to participate.
The Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins provides a great explanation about the benefits of clinical trials, how trials are conducted, what’s involved for clients, enrollment procedures, and more.2 The AVMA offers a searchable database of veterinary clinical trials in all areas, and the Veterinary Cancer Society provides a comprehensive list of ongoing cancer trials in the United States.