Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has established a new clinical trial program to give patients the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research studies without leaving the Yuma area. Clinical trials, which are designed to test the latest advancements in medical treatments, are the last step in a long process that begins with laboratory research. Patients who participate in these trials do so voluntarily after being informed of the purpose, risks and potential benefits of the trial by their physician. Many medical treatments used today are the result of past clinical trials.
Initial Scope of the Program:
YRMC's first clinical trials will be conducted in the fields of cardiology, diabetes and oncology. The oncology trials are performed as part of YRMC's national accreditation as a cancer center. YRMC has a collaborative partnership with Mayo Clinic and will be offering patients the opportunity to participate in some of the same clinical trials as the Mayo Clinic. The first two clinical trials to be offered by YRMC in the field of oncology will be (1) an advanced breast cancer trial using genetic information to determine treatment and (2) a supportive care trial designed to test the effectiveness of a new treatment for depression in cancer patients. In the future, YRMC will offer clinical trials in other medical disciplines.
Program Start Date:
YRMC's first clinical trial will begin the week of November 18, 2013 when cardiologist Dr. Joseph Cardenas will perform a balloon angioplasty procedure on a patient in an attempt to relieve leg pain caused by a narrowing of the blood vessels in the patient's leg. The medical device is identical in size to regular angioplasty balloons, but it is coated with a special medication. YRMC is the only medical facility in Arizona that was selected to participate in this clinical trial.
Community education will be an important component of YRMC's clinical trial program, as patients are more likely to participate in a clinical trial when they have a thorough understanding of how a clinical trial works and its potential benefits. Currently, less than five percent of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials for various reasons, the most common being lack of awareness, lack of access, fear or distrust of research, or financial or personal concerns. In May 2013, YRMC hired an Institution Research Coordinator to develop and implement the clinical research program.
For more information about clinical trials at Yuma Regional Medical Center, contact the department of institutional research at 336-3366.