Clinical Trials and Research at MUSC
What are Clinical Trials?
"Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose, or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.
Every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, for conducting the trial. The plan describes what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted, and why each part of the study is necessary. Each study has its own rules about who can take part. Some studies need volunteers with a certain disease. Some need healthy people. Others want just men or just women.
In the United States, an independent committee of physicians, statisticians, and members of the community must approve and monitor the protocol. They make sure that the risks are small and are worth the potential benefits."
-NIH: National Institutes of Health
How Can You Take Part in Clinical Research? Looking Beyond "First in Human" (from the NIH Director's Blog)
Find Research Participation Opportunities
MUSC participates in a large number of clinical trials. New trials are added on a routine basis, and many clinical trials accept only a limited number of participants. Please use the following resources to help find a study that may be right for you.
- SCresearch.org - The South Carolina Research Studies Directory designed specifically to help people, like you, locate research studies in which to participate. Browse by topic, location, and more!
- Researchmatch.org - A not-for-profit online resource that matches people who want to participate in research with researchers throughout the country who need volunteers for their studies.
- Hollings Cancer Center Trials - Cancer research clinical trials at MUSC.
- Call 843-792-8300 and speak to a research professional about other study opportunities available at MUSC.
Your MUSC Research Preferences in MUSC Health MyChart
In your MUSC Health MyChart you can complete a “MUSC Research Preferences” questionnaire that asks two questions about your willingness to participate in research. You may have received a MyChart notification recently asking you to answer these preferences (pdf). Please note, the preferences you select will NOT change the care you would normally receive.
The first question asks about your willingness to donate your unused tissue, blood samples, and/or bodily fluids for future research studies. Normally these samples would be thrown away. As a result of your donation, these studies may help researchers learn more about preventing, finding and treating different diseases and conditions.
- You can agree to donate your samples. If you agree:
- these samples may be used by researchers.
- only left over samples or fluids (if there are any) that were collected at your doctor’s visit will be donated. NO additional samples or fluids will be taken.
- the samples and medical information can be studied by researchers in such a way that will NOT identify the person who donated the samples.
- You can answer that you do not agree. If you do not agree:
- any left-over samples after medical testing will be destroyed.
- You can answer that you are not ready to make a decision whether or not to give permission for your samples to be donated.
The second question asks about your willingness to be contacted by a researcher or health professional other than your personal doctor to ask about your interest in participating in future studies that might benefit you or people with similar health histories.
- You can agree to be contacted about these opportunities. If you agree, you are giving study teams permission to contact you to discuss the available opportunities. This does not mean that you are agreeing to participate in these specific studies. Rather, you are agreeing to be contacted to hear about them.
- You can also answer that you do not agree so that the health professionals who are not your doctors will not contact you about research. If you say no, your doctors can still suggest studies that he/she feels may assist with your clinical care.
- You can answer that you are not ready to make a decision about whether or not to be contacted.
You can return to your MyChart account at any time to update your permissions.
- At the top of your MyChart homepage, go to "My Medical Record."
- Two columns will appear. In the right hand column, click "Questionnaires."
- Next click on "MUSC Research Preferences."
- Answer the two questions with your personal choices.
- Click "Continue" at the bottom of the page.
- On the new page that opens, confirm your personal choices.
- Click "Submit Questionnaire" at the bottom of the page.
Take a moment to review our Frequently Asked Questions (pdf) for further clarification.
View a PDF brochure with additional details about your "MUSC Research Preferences."
Please call 843-792-8300 if you have questions.
Research & Discovery at MUSC
Learn about new advancements in medicine and technology: