Knowledge, Compassion, and Discovery are interwoven at the UTCVM Veterinary Medical Center, the only academic veterinary medical center in the state. The wide variety of complex diseases and injuries treated at the veterinary medical center presents a unique opportunity for us to provide optimal patient care while expanding medical frontiers to improve both animal and human health. Clinical trials help us achieve these goals.
The first link in the chain of research is performance of traditional laboratory or ‘bench-top’ studies to explore the potential benefit of a new approach, test or treatment. If positive results are found, the second step is evaluation of safety and efficacy of the new idea using experimental models. Once a test or therapy has been shown to be safe and potentially better than existing options in the lab, clinical trials are used to assess whether similar benefits exist for “real patients with real problems in the real world.”
In addition to improving animal and human health in the future, clinical trials offer a number of immediate benefits to the individual patient:
- tests and treatments that might otherwise be inaccessible
- patients and their families receive direct access to national/international experts
- often improved response to therapy through participation (Hawthorne effect)
Because each individual patient’s well-being is the highest priority to everyone at UTCVM, all clinical trials undergo rigorous review prior to starting and must receive approval from the UT Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Post-approval monitoring is also performed to ensure all aspects of the clinical trial exceed scientific, reporting, and ethical standards. Participation in clinical trials is completely voluntary. Should you choose to enroll your pet in a clinical trial, you or your attending clinician can withdraw him or her at any time.