Clinical Trials at UMDNJ
mericans are living longer and living better for many reasons. Certainly high on the list is our growing arsenal of medications to address a wide array of illnesses. How is progress made in the world of pharmaceuticals? How do we know what’s safe and if a new drug works better than an old standby?
These questions are answered by human subjects research, also called clinical trials. At UMDNJ, we are currently conducting more than 500 clinical trials, a major undertaking on the part of all the healthcare teams involved. Our clinical researchers are focused on progress in medicine.
This system has worked beautifully. Take children’s cancer as an example. While 25 years ago many children died of their cancers, today the cure rate is about 80 percent. Over the years, pharmaceuticals have been developed; doctors nationwide have tested them and pooled their findings; more and better drugs have been developed based on that information; new combinations have been tried; and safety has always been a top priority. This devastating and tragic illness is certainly an area where we can say the system of human subjects research has been a huge success.
There have also been many obvious successes in the area of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Over the last 20 years, pharmaceutical development and human subjects research have produced highly effective anti-hypertension and anti-cholesterol medicines that no doubt prolong life and enhance its quality for many. Treatment success and safety were paramount and proven by clinical trials.
At UMDNJ, we have clinical research at every school on every campus, involving
hundreds of investigators. What we are concentrating on now is bringing all of that research under one umbrella. With a single point of contact, we will make communication and collaboration simpler and faster both for potential pharmaceutical company partners and for patients looking to join a clinical trial.
In this issue of UMDNJ Magazine, we introduce you to some of our top investigators and show you the breadth and depth of what we do. But since this is just a “sampling menu,” we hope over the next months that you will visit the Website of our Clinical Research Organization (CRO) — cro.umdnj.edu — to keep up-to-date on our progress and, perhaps, become our partner in this challenging and highly rewarding field.
William F. Owen, Jr., MD
President of UMDNJ