LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Purdue University and IU Health Arnett are joining efforts to promote human clinical trials.
“That’s the only way research can be done. You have to test things, and ultimately they have to be tested on patients. So they go through incredible safety checks before that, but until you put it into a person you really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Purdue Oncological Sciences Center director Marietta Harrison said.
IU Health Arnett physician Bamidele Adesunloye said, “Obviously, we need clinical trials to prove these drugs are safe and effective before they are approved by the FDA.”
Harrison said the collaboration allows patients being treated at IU Heath Arnett to participate in basic research efforts.
“What we’re interested in is looking for let’s say substances in the blood that might detect a disease long before it ever has any kind of symptoms. And so you get it very, very early,” Harrison said. “That’s the basic discovery research, and that’s what this is going to allow.”
Only about five percent of all U.S. cancer patients participate in clinical trials, but that number drops to fewer than one percent of people in rural areas. This effort will allow community hospitals to participate in basic clinical research.
Dr. Adesunloye said it also allows patients to get the treatment they need without leaving the state.
“If we can have a robust program, we can provide everything that our patient needs locally,” Adesunloye said. “And that will save them from traveling outside of Indiana or Lafayette as a whole.”
The partnership is a three-year commitment.