Clinical Trials

Clinical trials through the Essentia Institute of Rural Health (EIRH) allow physicians and researchers to test advanced investigational treatments, medications, and medical devices for safety and effectiveness before approval for public use.

When you participate in a clinical trial at Essentia Health, you take an active role in your health while helping doctors find ways to improve treatments and quality of life for patients like you.

What Is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are designed to test how new drugs, therapies, and medical devices affect health outcomes. Clinical trials are intervention-based clinical research studies.

Types of Clinical Trials

EIRH collaborates with other top health care and educational institutions on clinical trials, including Duke University, Mayo Clinic, and University of Minnesota, as well as local hospitals and universities, to bring a wide range of clinical trials to communities near you in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

Our clinical trials focus on research related to:

  • Cancer, including pediatric cancer
  • Heart and vascular
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics Rheumatology

Search our directory of clinical trials.

Medical Insight: Oncology Clinical Trials

Medical Insight: Oncology Clinical Trials Transcript

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Text, Medical Insight. Essentia Health, logo consisting of three leaves in a circle.

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SPEAKER 1: Welcome to Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health. Here's your host, Louis St. George.

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Text, Louie St. George, Host, Essentia Health. Louie wears a suit and tie and has a name badge clipped to his lapel. He stands in an airy room with large windows and plants.

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LOUIS ST. GEORGE: Today on Medical Insight, Dr. Bret Friday, medical oncologist at Essentia Health, explains the importance of oncology clinical trials.

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Text, Dr. Bret Friday, Clinical Oncologist. Essentia Health. Dr. Friday wears a dress shirt and tie. He stands in front of book-lined bookshelves.

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BRET FRIDAY: One of the big reasons that patients are part of clinical trials is to learn how to treat cancer better. And I think there's an altruistic benefit for every cancer patient who's receiving treatment

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A sign outside an office reads, Oncology Clinic Trials. The room has a cubicle and bookshelf. Medical equipment.

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they reap the benefits of all the patients who are part of clinical trials in the past.

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And we should always strive to get better, and that's what trials are. It's striving to get better. It's learning more about the cancer.

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And, as an institution, I think Essentia's culture fits with that ideal. And I know that myself and my colleagues and everyone in the Cancer Center really feels that way.

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LOUIS ST. GEORGE: Clinical trials through Essentia are safe thanks to multiple levels of independent review, and therefore, patients anonymity. BRET FRIDAY: Our rural

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geography in northern Minnesota is a different population than is present in Manhattan, New York City.

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Label on medicine bottle reads, AbbVie North Chicago, Illinois, 60064, USA. Investigator Study, Parenthesis, Venetoclax, ABT dash 199, closed parenthesis.

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And so if we want results from a cancer trial to really be broadly applicable to all those populations, you have to have patience participate from all of those different areas.

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As medical director of the research program here, that's what makes my job worthwhile.

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Many people believe that being a cancer doctor is a very difficult job. And at times, it really is, but there are also really gratifying things.

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Dr. Friday.

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And when we participate in trials and we get results back from those trials that change how we treat cancer and improve cancer treatments, that's what drives me. LOUIS ST. GEORGE: Essentia's

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commitment to research helps deliver the best care possible to patients.

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Text, Medical Insight, Essentia Health. logo consisting of three leaves in a circle. Essentia Health dot org forward slash Medical Insight.

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For Medical Insight, I'm Louis St. George. SPEAKER 1: To learn more about this and other health topics, visit essentiahealth.org/medicalinsight.

Are Clinical Trials Safe?

Rest assured, all research studies at Essentia follow federal guidelines to protect your rights and safety. Before you take part in a clinical trial or other study at Essentia, your care team will help you understand the study, as well as the risks and benefits involved with participating. You have the right to leave the study at any time.

Should I Join a Clinical Trial?

With clinical trial studies, you gain access to new treatments not yet widely available. That means you may be among the first to benefit. And your participation helps improve care for people who have the same condition that you have.

However, new treatments may not be better than—or even as good as—the current standard of care. Or, they may work for others, but not for you. They also may have side effects.

If you’re thinking about joining a research study, talk with your provider. They can help you decide if a research study is right for you.

Patient Eligibility Criteria

Each study protocol has guidelines, called eligibility criteria, for determining who can participate. Criteria differ for each study and help researchers achieve accurate and meaningful results.

Referring a Patient

Your doctor may receive a recommendation from a research nurse who has screened your chart for a clinical trial study. Your doctor will talk to you about the research opportunity and ask about your in participating.

Your Clinical Trial Study Team

You won’t need to switch doctors to enroll in a clinical trial. Instead, you’ll expand your care team. You may work with the doctor who’s leading the study at Essentia, a clinical trials nurse, and other assistants. Trust us to keep in touch with your primary care physician or other specialists so you receive coordinated care.

Our research team includes research nurses, research assistants, physicians, scientists, biostatisticians, and allied health care partners.

Certified investigators and research staff must complete federally required good clinical practice and research participant protection training. The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) certify many members of the clinical trials research team.

In some cases, your clinical trial study team will see you at the clinic where you regularly receive care. In other cases, you’ll need to travel to a specific location for appointments. If you need to travel to take part in a study for a condition other than cancer, you may be eligible for financial assistance to cover your travel costs.

Clinical Trials & Insurance

Insurance coverage for research studies varies by provider, plan, and even the type of study. Check with your insurance company to find out what costs your plan covers.

Who to Contact

For information on clinical trials related to cancer, contact the Oncology Clinical Trials Team or call 1-844-681-7944.

For general information on non-oncology clinical trials, contact the Clinical Trials Team.

More details on clinical trials staff can be found on Research Staff & Support.

For information on other kinds of research at Essentia Health, visit Other Clinical Research.

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