Everyone at Hope was so nice and compassionate. Strangers I met in the lobby consoled me. You knew everyone who stepped through Hope's doors loved animals.
Ilona and Bill
Clinical trials are designed to evaluate new or promising therapies or diagnostics for existing diseases, answer questions concerning existing therapies, or gather specific information on rare types of diseases. These studies commonly involve novel, “cutting edge” therapies not previously used in companion animals, and as such, possible benefits and associated toxicities are not known. Clinical trials are generally classified into four phases in order to evaluate these treatments.
Many naturally occurring diseases in pet animals serve as “natural models” due to the similarities in their human counterpart. Better understanding these diseases provides important information for research to benefit both species. Hope Veterinary Specialists has established a clinical trial network that collaborates with the leaders in industry of both human and animal health as well as several universities known for their clinical trial programs. Results of these collaborative efforts will be published in the veterinary literature and are designed to improve the knowledge in the veterinary field and help improve the quality of life of our patients.
Hope VS is excited to become part of the Animal Clinical Investigations Clinical Trials Network. “ACI bridges the veterinary community with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, working together to develop treatments for pets with cancer and other complex medical conditions”. Hope VS is the only network site in this region and this new collaboration allows our patients access to novel and cutting edge technologies. For more information regarding ACI, http://www.animalci.com/about
What research has been done before a clinical trial is initiated?
Depending upon the trial, often various questions may have been answered through a phase 1 study (designed to determine dosing of the agent), preclinical research (often performed in cell culture or rodents), and data from evaluation in healthy animals before they are offered to animals with known disease. This preliminary data helps to determine expected side effects, dose to be used and safety.
Why would I enroll my pet in a clinical trial?
There are many benefits to enrolling in a study. The reason new treatments are proposed is often because earlier research has suggested the drug or agent to be evaluated maybe more effective than a current standard or care or there may not be a standard of care for the particular disease to be evaluated. Patients that qualify and enter a prospective clinical trial are monitored carefully and strict adherence to the treatment protocol is necessary. Evaluation of the patient is very dependent upon the study guidelines but generally will involve visits to Hope Veterinary Specialists. For many prospective clinical trials, the costs of the staging (evaluating the extent of disease), diagnosis (biopsy) and therapy (novel drug, appointments and bloodwork) may be completely covered, or at least be defrayed, by the specific study sponsor. With owner permission, samples such as blood, urine, and/or tumor may be obtained to aid researchers in gaining additional information to benefit present and future patients.
How can I find out about clinical trials offered in other areas of the country or results of past clinical trials I'm interested in?
The AVMA launched the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database in June 2016 as a resource for researchers seeking animals to participate in clinical studies and for veterinarians and animal owners exploring options for treatment. Veterinarians and animal owners may search the site to find studies that might be relevant to their patient or pet, either for a particular condition or even to provide health data or a sample from a normal animal. Animal owners interested in participating in such studies are encouraged to discuss their eligibility for any relevant study with their veterinarian. Visit the AVMA Animal Health Study Database HERE to search for a trial.
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