Clinical trials are research studies that test whether a drug, vaccine, medical device or strategy is safe and effective for people. At any given time, North York General Hospital (NYGH) has about 20 or so active trials, which aim to transform care through applied research and innovation.
As the new Clinical Trials Manager, Maria Schlag's role is to promote clinical research by supporting physicians in the clinical trials process. Maria brings extensive experience coordinating clinical trials from her previous role as manager of the Clinical Trials Support Unit at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network.
According to Maria, research has shown that hospitals active in clinical research are associated with organizational and performance benefits as well as greater overall patient satisfaction. “Conducting clinical research at a community academic hospital such as NYGH also enables patients to have access to better care closer to home,” says Maria.
There are many other benefits to conducting clinical trials, such as determining what medical methodologies work best for a particular illness or group of patients as well as providing patients with access to new and developing treatment options. A small number of studies have analyzed the patients' point of view regarding the pros and cons of clinical trials and have shown that, regardless of the results, patients considered joining clinical trials for altruistic motivations such as benefiting future patients.
Maria and her team have successfully connected with various sponsors of clinical trials to increase the scope of treatment options available to patients. As a result, researchers at NYGH are currently implicated in about 20 clinical trials and many more are under consideration. Remarkably, clinical trials at NYGH have contributed to the approval of a Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma drug and two breast cancer drugs.
“I have chosen to come to NYGH since it has the potential of developing not only cancer trials but a diversity of clinical trials, which in the end will provide patients with an array of treatment options,” says Maria. In this regard, her team is currently enrolling new patients in clinical trials for the following areas:
- Bladder, breast, colorectal and lung cancer
- Alzheimer's disease
- Vaccination promotion
Go to our Current Clinical Trials page to get detailed information about ongoing trials.