What is a Clinical Research Study?
A clinical trial is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions such as causes, diagnosis, prevention, outcome or treatment of a disease or condition. Clinical research studies are an important step in making new discoveries available for future use. Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. The clinical trial team includes doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. They check your health at the beginning of the trial, give specific instructions for participating in the trial, monitor you carefully during the trial, and stay in touch after the trial is completed. Some clinical trials involve more tests and doctor visits than you would normally have for an illness or condition. Clinical trial participation is most successful when the protocol is carefully followed and there is frequent contact with the research staff.
Clinical research in prostate cancer will be advanced thorugh the establishment of a comprehensive database, and through participation in clinical trials.
A comprehensive database will provide outcome results for all patients with a new diagnosis of prostate cancer. The most complete data possible will be entered into a database for each patient with a new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Follow-up data for patients who are not followed locally will be updated and entered into the database by the Prostate Cancer Center Nurse Coordinator.
Prospective studies that are already planned include "Salvage Brachytherapy For Radiation Failures," "Short-Term Toxicity of Brachytherapy," "Urodynamic Evaulation of Men Treated for Prostate Cancer," and "Biofeedback Training in Men Treated for Prostate Cancer." A retrospective study of "Salvage Brachytherapy For Radiation Failures" is underway in collaboration withe the Carle Prostate Cancer Center in Champaign, Illinois.
Some Recent Trials
The Effect of Biofeedback on Urinary Control After Treatment for Prostate Cancer
A trial to evaluate urinary fuction in men before and after treatment for prostate cancer. Specifically, this study evaluated the effects of computer assisted pelvic muscle training (Biofeedback) in reducing the severity and duration of urinary problems after prostate cancer. Men who had a new diagnosis of prostate cancer had two options for treatment:
- Radical Prostatectomy, surgical removal of the prostate gland
- Radiation Therapy, use of implanted seeds or an external beam to destroy the prostate gland.
Problems with urinary control can occur for a period of time after either treatment. To date, there are few studies of the use of biofeedback before and after treatment for prostate cancer to assist with urine control.
What happened during the study?
All men who enrolled in the study filled out a questionaire to assess the urinary symptoms before treatment for prostate cancer and at four times over a one year period after treatment.
All men underwent noninvasive tests to check their urinary function both prior to treatment for prostate cancer and after treatment. Participants were assigned to either a Kegel exercise group or a biofeedback group to learn control how to control the muscles that help control the urinary stream. Once they had been assigned to a group, the reseach coordinator explained the additional treatments they received.
SIU Clinical Research Database website - click here