UPDATED: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 10:19pm
Temple and Waco, TX — Doctors are looking for most effective and cutting edge forms of medicine to treat patients. And to do that, they need help from their patients. Nationwide, participation in clinical trials is low. But now, they hope one local hospital will help with that.
"The opportunity is there for them to be on something that's cutting-edge that may save their lives. It's an incredible opportunity," said Dr. Richard Beswick, Senior Vice-President for Research at Scott and White Hospital.
Researchers for Central Texas hospitals are encouraging more patients to partake in clinical trials. Locally, the participation rate is estimated between 50 to 65 percent.
"Nationwide, if you look at the numbers, the numbers are actually down. The nationwide average is somewhere between 30 and 40 percent, depending on where you are," said Beswick. "We offer something that is not available anywhere else to our patients."
The most common patients that are willing to try new forms of medicine are those fighting cancer.
"Most of our clinical trials, the majority of them are in cancer studies. The more debilitating that the study is, the more individuals that you'll have that kind of gravitate towards those particular studies," said Beswick.
A majority of the studies involve therapeutic medicines and some require medical devices. Either way, these studies are free to patients and a way to develop new ways of treatment.
"A clinical trial will allow, let's say the new drugs that are coming to the market, that's never been tested before, it gives a patient an opportunity to be a part of that," said Beswick.