What is a Clinical Trial?

Canine PoseClinical trials are research studies that evaluate how effective a new treatment is by comparing it to standard practice in animals with disease. They’re are often designed from preliminary data that show the new treatment may be effective in laboratory studies. The final stage of many laboratory experiments is to test the theory in the clinical setting with real patients to see if they work as well as they do in the artificial setting of the laboratory.

By the very nature of a clinical trial, there is no way for a clinician to predict if the new treatment is going to be better than the old one. Though, it may seem that the treatment is likely to be better, one cannot know until it is tested under controlled conditions with objective ways of measuring data and responses.

Your clinician should give you detailed information before you enroll your pet into a clinical trial. For most animals the trial consists of routine blood tests, routine imaging (x-rays, ultrasounds, etc) and a new treatment. Based on previous results there may be expected adverse effects that will be explained to you before you agree to anything. In many cases clinical trials are done to try and find a better treatment when the current therapies are not very effective. As veterinarians we have your pet’s best interest in mind. An animal may be removed from a clinical trial at any time by you, the owner, or by us, as the veterinarian, if it is in the animal’s best interest to do so.

Clinical trials often require frequent visits to the teaching hospital. It is often required that tests and procedures be done at the teaching hospital in order to receive the financial incentives associated with these trials and to maintain consistency in the way the trial is run.

These studies offer the benefits of cutting edge research. Conclusions drawn from a clinical trial may go on to benefit humans with similar diseases as well as other animals.

If you are interested in learning more about one of our clinical trials please have your veterinarian contact us or use the contact information listed on the Current Clinical Trials Page. We cannot provide any treatment or diagnostic recommendations over the phone; you must present your pet in person for a consultation.

The NIH Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC)

NCI LogoThe Texas A&M Oncology Service at the CVM has recently become a member of the NIH Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC). This allows us to participate in multi-institutional clinical trials that are sponsored by the NIH. For further information on this consortium, visit the NIH Comparative Oncology Program.

Contacts

NIH-COTC Texas A&M Site Contact & Oncology Clinical Trials Contact:

Heather Wilson-Robles, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Associate Professor and the Dr. Fred A. & Vola N. Palmer Chair in Comparative Oncology
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences | 4474 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-4474
Tel: (979) 845-2351

Neurology Clinical Trials Contact:

Jonathan Levine, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
Department Head, Professor, and the Helen McWhorter Chair in Small Animal Clinical Sciences
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences | 4474 TAMU
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
College Station, Texas 77843-4474 | Tel: (979) 845-2351

Rapamycin Phase II Clinical Trial Contact:

Kate Creevy, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)
Associate Professor and the Mark A. Chapman Chair in Shelter & Companion Animal Health
Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences | 4474 TAMU
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
College Station, Texas 77843-4474 | Tel: (979) 845-2351