A Helpful Look at the Research Process & Why Your Participation Is So Important
What Is Medical Research?
The purpose of medical research is to create new knowledge about the onset, progression, and treatment of disease. It is conducted to develop disease treatment, diagnostic tools for detecting medical conditions, and ways to improve quality of life for patients. Medical research on a specific disease, medication, or medical device can span several years and stages.
The two main types of medical research are preclinical and clinical research. Preclinical research encompasses all research and data collected outside of a clinical trial such as knowledge of a specific disease and how it affects the body, its symptoms, tendencies, and theories about treatment to combat the effects of the disease.
Once a medical device or treatment is developed enough to be tested for efficacy and safety in humans, it goes to clinical trial.
What Is Preclinical Research?
Preclinical research refers to the period before clinical research begins where researchers test their theories on samples rather than human participants. This phase helps researchers to determine the safest and most effective way to move forward with their project.
What Is Clinical Research?
Clinical trials test the efficacy of new drugs and devices. As a patient or caregiver, we're sure you've heard the terms clinical trial and clinical research before. You read it in articles, see it in advertisements, and might even notice that it is a recurring topic or discussion within your own social and support network.
But what is it? Clinical research is the process in medical science that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, diagnostics, devices, and treatment regimens intended for human use. The process is typically broken down into four phases, within which the drug is tested on patient participants.
What Is Translational Research?
Translational research is a type of preclinical research that involves biospecimen (e.g. blood, urine, saliva, etc.). Scientists conduct translational research to either identify key biomarkers involved in a certain medical condition, or to conduct in-vitro testing on biospecimen.
Translational research is a type of preclinical research that involves biospecimen. Biospecimen (biological materials like blood, saliva, stool, urine, and sputum) contain a vast amount of biological information stored in the form of genes, proteins, and cells. Translational research fulfills two main functions- it can be vital in understanding the mechanisms behind a specific disease and can facilitate the development of therapeutics. Translational research allows scientists to
• Identify and validate new biomarkers of a disease.
• Identify how diseases progress and vary.
• Group patients as more or less likely to respond to specific drugs.
• Develop screening tests to detect biomarkers that are associated with certain stages or subtypes of a disease.
Translational research streamlines the clinical research process and ensures a higher success rate for clinical trials. Translational research is paving the road to treatment with fewer side effects and more personalized medicine.
Though Sanguine may partner with researchers for clinical trials or specific studies, most of our studies are translational research studies. Most Sanguine appointments involve a biospecimen donation in an at-home appointment after which you receive a Visa gift card for your time.
Once you have signed up to participate in a research study, one of our study coordinators will reach out to conduct an over-the-phone screening that takes about 10-15 minutes. During the screen, you will be asked questions about your health and demographic information. All of your responses are kept confidential. The purpose of the screening is to confirm that you are eligible to participate in a particular study as each research study has a specific participant criteria.
Informed Consent and Documentation:
Once you are deemed eligible to participate in a study, you will be emailed (or mailed) an Informed Consent Form (ICF). Informed Consent is the most important aspect of any research study as it outlines and confirms research participants’ rights. The ICF may be signed electronically.
Some studies may involve further documentation such as confirmation of your diagnosis, which our study team may obtain from your physician. In order to do so, you may complete a Medical Records Authorization form to authorize our team to obtain only necessary documentation for your study participation.
After all proper documentation is on file, we will schedule your at-home appointment with one of our trained, licensed phlebotomists. On the day of your appointment, please make sure to be hydrated and follow all instructions provided by your study coordinator.
At the end of your appointment, you will receive a $50 Visa gift card for your contribution.
Join Others To Cure Your Disease
Have you ever wished you could help people like you? No matter how much money is raised, researchers will always need samples from the patient population that they are researching in order to perform their preclinical research.
A 2019 survey* conducted by The Center For Information & Study On Clinical Research Participation found that 85% of the 12,451 people interviewed would consider joining or participating in a clinical research study. Here are some of the reasons they cited:
Participation depends on the specific inclusion/exclusion criteria of each study. This is a certain set of guidelines and parameters around each study that requires the researchers to find very specific patients in order to perform the most precise and accurate research possible.
The government has strict guidelines and regulations to protect people who choose to participate in clinical research. Every U.S. based clinical research must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), ensuring that every trial is both safe and ethical.
Getting involved in research is easy. The growth of the pharmaceutical industry has facilitated the creation of a vast number of resources both on and offline. If you're interested in getting started, click on the link below and join Sanguine's participant community.
Sanguine's unique model alleviates many of the difficulties associated with human specimen procurement by streamlining patient-researcher communication and collecting samples directly from donors' homes as opposed to relying on a limited group of physicians and clinics.