We strive to investigate new technologies to help make them as innovative as possible before they are produced on the market. Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons proudly announces the creation of the Bowie Vision Institute, which boasts its involvement in the latest vision research projects.
Clinical Trials at The Bowie Vision Institute
What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical treatments will work in patients. Each study is meant to address specific questions and attempts to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose or treat a disease, symptom or affliction. Clinical studies may also be used to compare new treatments to already available treatments, to see if any improvements can be made.
Each clinical study has a protocol or plan for conducting the trials. This plan describes what will be done, how the study will be conducted and why each step is necessary. Each study has rules as to who can participate; some studies require volunteers with a certain disease, others may need healthy participants.
What is expected of patients in a clinical trial?
Patients in a clinical trial are expected to have eye exams and other tests as necessary. Patients may also need to take medications and/or undergo surgery, depending on the study in which they involve themselves. Patients will be asked to return for follow-up examinations to help determine how well the treatment is working.
How long will my participation in a trial last?
Each trial has its own time parameters. Some trial patients are asked to participate for a few weeks, others are asked for a few years.
The success of a clinical trial often depends on monitoring outcomes over a long period of time.
What are the risks?
Clinical trials may involve risks as well as possible benefits.
Whether or not a new treatment will work cannot be known ahead of time. That is why trials begin in the first place. There is always a chance that a new treatment may not work as well as a standard treatment, may not work at all, or may be harmful.
The trial treatment you receive may cause side effects that are serious enough to require medical attention. Thus, should you be interested in participating in a trial, you must make sure that the doctor overseeing your study is trustworthy and qualified should something go wrong.
What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?
Participating in a clinical trial can bring many benefits:
- You may help doctors discover a new treatment that may be more effective than the current treatment for an eye disease or disorder.
- The treatment may help to improve vision and control or prevent eye disease or disorder for patients who previously had no other options.
- Clinical trial patients receive the highest quality medical care. Experts monitor them closely during the study and may continue to follow them after the study is over if they deem it necessary.
- New knowledge gained from a trial may help other people afflicted with the same eye problems.
- Patients who participate in our clinical trials may be reimbursed for their time and appointment.
How is patient safety protected?
Clinical trials can raise fears of the unknown. For each trial, several safeguards are put in place to protect patients and ease some of these fears:
- Before a clinical trial begins, researchers must get approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), an advisory group that makes sure a clinical trial is designed to protect patient safety first.
- During a clinical trial, doctors will closely monitor you to see if the treatment is working and if you are having any side effects. These results are carefully recorded and reviewed, and if any potentially hazardous situations arise, you will be treated immediately.
- A group of experts – the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee – carefully watches each clinical trial supported by the NEI. This group can recommend that a study be terminated at any time.
Patients are only asked to participate in a clinical trial if they volunteer and understand the risks and benefits. Each trial is thoroughly explained to patients who express interest in volunteering.
What are a patient’s rights in a clinical trial?
Patients eligible for a clinical trial will be given information to help them decide whether or not they wish to take part. As a patient, you have the right to:
- Be informed of all known risks and benefits of treatments involved in the trial.
- Know the design, duration, and location of the study.
- Know your responsibilities as a participant.
- Know any costs involved for you or your insurers.
- Be informed about any medical or personal information that may be shared with other researchers directly involved in the clinical trial – at no point will any personal information be made public without the consent of the participant.
- Talk openly with doctors and ask any questions at any time.
After you join a clinical trial, you have the right to:
- Leave the study at any time. Participation is strictly voluntary; however, you should not enroll if you do not plan to complete a study.
- Receive any new information that arises about the new treatment.
- Continue to ask questions and get answers.
- Maintain your privacy. Your name will not appear in any reports based on the study.
- Be informed of your treatment once the study is completed.
The Bowie Vision Institute has a simple mission:
We want to provide personalized patient care by offering all treatment options and technologies possible. The Bowie Vision Institute strives to maintain its involvement with the latest research studies to help test the effectiveness of potential treatments and technologies for patients.
We have participated in several studies in the field of ophthalmology such as:
- OMNI-002; IRB ID #: 5822-003; post- LASIK compounded drug vs. commercial drug
- SEPS-CXL-001 CIRB Approval Epi-on v Epi-off Corneal Collagen Crosslinking
- Glaukos, US IDE iStent GC-008
- TrueVision Advanced 3-D Surgical Guidance
- Bausch & Lomb, Crystalens –Trulign
- Abbott Medical Optics, Tecnis Toric 1-Piece IOL Registry
- Carl Zeiss Meditec, Callisto Surgical Suite
- Avedro Accelerated-Corneal Collagen Crosslinking
Without clinical trials, we would have no treatments for any of the diseases we as humans contract. Only with your help are we able to contribute to the future of eye care. This will impact the standard of care for our local communities, for patients throughout the nation and throughout the world.
If you would like more information about participating in research, or to find out if you are a candidate for any of our current studies, do not hesitate to ask our technical staff during your next visit, or ask one of our doctors if a study treatment is right for you.