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Clinical Research at UCA

At UCA, we are never satisfied.

Treating the current disease with the current standard of care is merely one piece of the puzzle – we have the whole picture in mind. To us, patient care is always in relentless pursuit of better diagnostic tools, better prevention, better medicines, and better health for those we serve.

For over three decades, UCA’s Research Department has been dedicated to systematically adding to our knowledge base and propelling the treatment of urological conditions into an ever brighter future. The research team, led by Director Meredith Sharpton, PA-C, specializes in a variety of urological fields, which allows them to expertly conduct studies on a spectrum of conditions such as prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and urinary tract infections.

We know that the path to high-quality, safe, and effective treatments is a long and complex one requiring not just experienced medical professionals, but also patients who are willing to be part of crucial clinical trials.

Medications and/or specific study parameters for a trial go through extensive FDA approval with the study site being greenlit by the Institutional Review Board before they can even begin enrolling patients. In fact, studies follow a highly systematic and regulated process at each phase of their journey, not only to ensure the safety – and privacy – of patient participants, but to certify the efficacy of the results for future patients. (Anonymous ID numbers follow patient monitoring data within the trial so that no individual’s personal information is shared outside UCA.)

The Research Trial Process

Patients who volunteer to participate in a research trial must first undergo an extensive screening visit to ensure they meet key criteria for the study. Once a patient is approved by the research team and their urologist at UCA, they can begin the trial process.

Each trial is led by a Principal Investigator and moderated by a research coordinator who is responsible for communicating with participants and monitoring their progress. Simultaneously, patients continue regular visits to their primary urologist. “Participants are truly getting specialized attention during a trial as the research staff and doctor are both monitoring the process very closely,” says Sharpton. “Of course, this benefits the study itself, but it also benefits the patient.”

As part of their research visits, participants are given the trial medication or a placebo along with a series of tests (such as EKGs and/or blood tests) to monitor current health status and any side effects or adverse reactions. Trials can last anywhere from several months to a few years, and patients can exit the study at any time if desired. Once a participant completes the trial, they will attend an “end of study” visit that establishes the safety and effectiveness of the medication. It may even be beneficial for patients to continue the treatment post-trial.

“Communication is key,” says Sharpton. “The Research Department proactively shares all our findings in real-time with UCA physicians so what we learn can benefit patients as soon as possible.”

John, who took part in a clinical research trial for a new form of prostate cancer states, “I had a wonderful experience with the entire staff in the research department and doctors at UCA. Hopefully, my participation [in the clinical research trial] will help others in the future.”

The future of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of urological disorders is happening now. Join us in being part of it!

Consider participating today!

You’ll receive:

  • Access to medications, at no or reduced cost, that might not be available outside a study
  • Compensation for time and travel
  • More focused and specialized care through monitoring by the research team as well as a primary urologist
  • Ability to contribute to the development of new treatments for urological disorders

To more information about our Clinical Research department and current open trials, visit https://www.urologycentersalabama.com/clinical-research/.

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