Clinical Trials - Research, Innovation & Discovery
At Nova Scotia Health, we believe that research is care. The clinical trial stage of a research project is where research truly begins to transform into patient care, giving patients access to therapies they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
What is a clinical trial and how do you get involved? Clinical trials are scientific research studies where patients volunteer to test new treatments. They are an essential part of the research process that helps medical researchers identify new clinical breakthroughs and understand how they work. Such trials can include medications, devices, natural health products, mental health treatments, surgical techniques, or education interventions.
Late last year, a Nova Scotia man's life was transformed by a clinical trial aimed at slowing down or stopping the progression of Type 2 diabetes. He had recently been surprised by a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, requiring him to change diet and exercise in order to bring his blood sugar levels down. When those efforts brought about little change, his doctor prescribed medication to regulate his sugars. That's when he spotted a newspaper ad, recruiting participants for a national study that was being conducted in Nova Scotia by endocrinologist Dr. Thomas Ransom and his team at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. This study focuses on lifestyle interventions that involve coaching, diet and exercise, along with monitoring.
"It didn't take me long to see the benefits of participating," says Andrew. The extra attention and level of personalized diet and nutrition training participants receive is meant to create the foundation for the individual's long-term success. According to Dr. Ransom, the "dream results" would be to show that an aggressive regimen can slow down or stop the progression of the disease and the burden of diabetic complications on patients."
Patients and Families
At Nova Scotia Health, all research projects and clinical trials involving patients, staff, data, or resources –including human biological materials from living and deceased individuals – are reviewed and approved by our Research Ethics Board before research begins. The REB ensures that all research projects meet the requirements of the Tri-Council Policy Statement, ICH-GCP Guidelines and Health Canada Division 5 Food and Drug regulations, all of which protect the safety and well-being of research participants.
If you are a patient involved in a research study or clinical trial and have concerns about the ethics of the research, please contact the office of the Research Ethics Board.