Research

The philosophy that all patients can help with forging forward with new advances in medicine is a central theme of all research conducted by the Academic Unit and the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre. This can be in the form of donating samples for preclinical studies (laboratory investigations searching for new molecules that cause disease), right up to being involved in a clinical trial where the benefits of a new treatment is explored compared to those who are not given the treatment or an given an alternative treatment.

Any type of new treatment must be examined in a clinical trial to ensure that it is safe and effective before it can be offered routinely to patients. These treatments are tested through clinical trials. There are different phases of study where patients can be involved.

These are listed in the table below.

  Phase I Phase II Phase III Phase IV
Description   This is the first test of a new treatment to see if it is safe to use in people. The new treatment is tested because it showed promise in lab tests. Once a treatment is found to be safe (often in a Phase I trial), it can be tested to see if it helps patients. This type of trial tests a treatment that has been shown to help some patients . It usually compares a newer treatment to the standard or best known treatment. These are carried out after a drug has been shown to work and has been granted a licence.
Goals   1) Whether the treatment is safe
2) The best way to give a treatment3) The right dose or  the amount that causes the fewest side effects
1) Whether the treatment works
2) Whether there are any less common side effects that may appear when greater number of patients get the treatment
1) Whether the new treatment is better than, as good as or worse than the standard treatment2) These trials may be more complex and look at more aspects of treatment than Phase I or II trials. Understand more about the new treatment used in clinical practice, in terms of knowing:1)  More about the side effects and safety of the drug2) What the long term risks and benefits are3) How well the drug works when it’s used more widely

If you want to be involved in our research, either as a patient or a healthy volunteer, please contact Research Nurses Sue Southworth or Ranjit Gidda on 0121 507 6844 (answering machine out of hours). They will be happy to talk to patients and potential recruits about any aspect of research. We are often looking for volunteers to take part in research so if you feel you would like to be involved, please contact us.

If you are a patient and decide to take part in a clinical trial, you should understand that:

  • The treatment being tested may or may not help you. You may get better, you may see no change or you may get worse.
  • Your participation helps doctors learn more about the treatment being tested. This knowledge may help many patients in the future. It may not help all the patients who are in the trial.
  • Some trials offer experimental treatments that you cannot receive outside the trial. Other trials compare standard treatments that you may be able to receive without being in the trial.
  • In a randomized trial, you may receive the treatment being tested or you may receive the standard treatment or a placebo (mock treatment). You will not know ahead of time which treatment you will receive.

The broad aim of the Research and Development (R&D) office within Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is to assist researchers and help ensure that all research associated with the Trust (including clinical trials) is of high quality, ethically sound and of benefit to patient care, treatment and rehabilitation.

Within BMEC there are currently 2 two research nurses and a data coordinator working on both academic and commercial research studies. We work with many consultants within BMEC and have a number of trials and studies running at any time.

Research Nurses: Sue Southworth and Ranjit Gidda

Data Co-ordinator: Lisa Allen

 

Contact details:

Tel: 0121 507 6844

Fax: 0121 507 6853

The broad aim of the Research and Development (R&D) office within Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is to assist researchers and help ensure that all research associated with the Trust (including clinical trials) is of high quality, ethically sound and of benefit to patient care, treatment and rehabilitation.