Clinical Trials & Research

UNC REX Healthcare is dedicated to providing patients with the highest level of care through advanced treatment methods and the use of cutting edge technology. Clinical trials and research allow UNC REX to actively contribute to existing medical knowledge; leading to improvements in available treatments, diagnostic procedures and disease prevention.

What is Clinical Research?

Clinical research is patient-oriented research. The research is conducted by an investigator who directly interacts with the human subjects or materials of human origin (such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) in which the research is being conducted. It does not include studies conducted in a test tube (in vitro) that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual.

Patient-oriented research includes:

  • Mechanisms of human disease
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Clinical trials
  • Development of new technologies
  • Epidemiologic and behavioral studies
  • Outcomes research and health

What is a Clinical Study?

A clinical trial involves testing or studying the effects of drugs or medical devices in human volunteers. These tests are performed to determine whether or not a product is safe and effective for use in people. A clinical trial may involve comparing a new medical product or therapy to one that is already in use, comparing two existing products or therapies, or testing something completely new. When a new product or therapy is being studied, it is not often known whether it will be helpful, harmful or even different from other available methods.

The feedback provided by clinical trial volunteers is crucial to understanding how the product or therapy works in humans. The trial’s results also provide vital information about whether new products and therapies are safe and effective, before they become widely accepted by healthcare providers. Clinical trials can also provide additional or new information on existing products or therapies to improve effectiveness and/or provide more safety information for patients.

How to Participate in a Clinical Trial

UNC REX Healthcare operates a wide variety of heart and vascular and cancer clinical trials that are currently accepting volunteers.

Once you identify a clinical trial that interests you, use the information provided to contact us to determine your eligibility to participate. Each trial will study a very specific group of people who meet a set of requirements called the “Eligibility Criteria”. These criteria help ensure a consistent group of participants which helps researchers to analyze their results later.

Before you agree to become a clinical trial participant, you will also complete a process called “Informed Consent.” Together with your study team, you will discuss the purpose, study requirements, risks, benefits and potential costs (if any) of the clinical trial for which you are eligible before you make your decision to participate.

In addition to the trials offered by UNC REX Healthcare and UNC Health Care, you may wish to explore national clinical trials offered by the National Institutes of Health or the National Cancer Institute.