University of Texas Health Science Center publishes web database of clinical studies

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has begun publishing descriptions of its clinical studies on the World Wide Web. Listings that involve more than 20 diseases or disorders are available by searching the new Web site.

“There is intense public interest in clinical studies and trials,” said Brian Herman, Ph.D., vice president of research for the Health Science Center. “Our cutting-edge studies are leading to the most up-to-date treatments for a variety of different diseases. We receive hundreds of calls from people asking to participate in our clinical studies or looking for experimental therapies for an ill loved one.”

The Health Science Center’s Web site lists studies being conducted in San Antonio and covers many diseases. National Web sites often are clearinghouses for studies across the country, and focus on one disease only. “We wanted to make the information easy to find for the people of our region, state and nation who wish to participate in the studies,” Dr. Herman said.

The Web site gives a summary of each study, its source of funding and names of contacts. All studies are supervised by the university’s Institutional Review Board, which enforces standards and reviews procedures to maintain patient rights and safety.

The studies include medical and dental conditions, and specialized research into diabetes, cancer, genetic disorders, mental illness and other diseases. The number of studies on the Web site will increase over the next year as the Health Science Center moves to an electronic database of its studies, Dr. Herman said. Currently there are about 1,200 studies under way in San Antonio that involve human subjects.

The Health Science Center is the first Texas university to offer a centralized Web repository of general medical studies. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston maintains a Web database for cancer studies.

“Our goal is to promote public understanding of clinical studies and provide information to the public and the medical care community about areas in which clinical studies are being performed, as well as who to contact to learn more about the study or to potentially enroll in the trial,” Dr. Herman said.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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