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For Patients

Director's Message

peter berger, mdWelcome to the Geisinger Center for Clinical Studies. We partner with our physician researchers and research coordinators to support clinical trials throughout Geisinger Health System. 

What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are a type of research study. They typically involve scientifically studying different treatments to see which is best for our patients. Sometimes these treatments are medicines (like a pill) and sometimes these treatments are devices (like a pacemaker).

But don’t you already know what the best treatment is?

The only way to really understand if something works is to scientifically study its effect. Just saying “this treatment will work for me because someone else I know felt better on it” simply is not good enough for patients. 

As an example, let’s take arthritis medicines. Did you know that if you gave a sugar pill to 10 arthritis patients, that three of them would tell you that they feel better?  But unfortunately their joint damage would continue. This is one of the reasons we use research to study treatments as closely as possible – so that we will know whether a treatment is truly likely to help someone.

Why would I be interested in participating in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are not for everyone, but here are some things to consider:

  • By participating in a clinical trial, you can play an active role in your own health care and gain access to investigational treatments before they are approved for use in the United States.
  • Clinical trials are very closely supervised to make sure that patient care is as safe as possible.
  • Clinical trials can provide important information about patients, disease, and outcomes that allow us to more effectively treat other patients with similar problems.
  • Your participation is purely voluntary. If you choose not to participate your care at Geisinger will not be affected in any way.

What kind of experience does Geisinger have with clinical trials research?

Quite a bit!  Many of Geisinger’s departments have participated in very important clinical trials research. Our researchers--and our patients--have been participants in some the most important clinical trials that have been performed from studies of medicines to prevent heart attacks to the latest cancer and arthritis treatments.

Please browse our website to see what Geisinger has to offer you. If you are interested in research for a particular disease or problem, use our Find a Study to help you locate trials currently being conducted at Geisinger. As always, we are here to serve – if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Peter Berger, Director,
Geisinger Center for Clinical Studies