Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Clinical trials are a form
of clinical research that follow a defined protocol that has been carefully
developed to evaluate a clinical question.
Clinical trials are in use
to test cancer therapies, treatments for cardiovascular disease, the safety and
efficacy of new drugs, and a number of other conditions.
Clinical trials may
investigate the effectiveness of new drug treatments, new combinations of drugs,
surgical procedures, or behavioral and lifestyle modifications.
Clinical trials are broken
down into phases, with each phase having a different purpose within the trial.
An Institutional Review
Board (IRB) consisting of physicians, statisticians, researchers, patient
advocates, and others must preapprove every clinical trial in the U.S. This
ensures that the trial is ethical and protects patients' rights.
Every clinical trial
follows a protocol that describes what types of people may participate in the
trial; outlines the exact the schedule of tests, procedures, medications, and/or
dosages involved in the trial; and specifies the length of the study.
Each trial has specific
inclusion and exclusion criteria to determine the exact patient populations that
may participate. Inclusion criteria may be based on age, gender, underlying
disease, health history, or other factors.
Double-blinded trials offer
the advantage of allowing the treating health-care team and the patient to make
unbiased observations about patient progress and the effectiveness of the
treatment being evaluated.
Clinical trials may be
sponsored and funded by government agencies, institutions, hospitals,
physicians, pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, advocacy groups, or other