University of Southern California


Study Participants

To help patients battling devastating diseases, USC offers innovative new surgeries, drugs, and therapies that might lead to a cure. Clinical trials at USC engage patients in finding new and better ways of treating diseases through scientific studies. For example, a trial may test the effectiveness of blood pressure medication or whether a certain drug can lower cholesterol. Hundreds of clinical trials take place each year at the Keck Medical Center at USC and at USC/La County Hospital, giving select patients access to therapies not available elsewhere. If you are interested in participating in one of our clinical trials, please visit the following websites for more information.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a scientific study conducted with volunteers. These studies are performed in order to evaluate a new treatment like drugs, devices, or biologics.

Before a new treatment is tried with human patients, it is carefully studied in the laboratory to show how to use the treatment safely and effectively. Laboratory research points out the new methods most likely to succeed but this early research cannot predict exactly how a new treatment will work with patients. With any new treatment there may be risks as well as possible benefits. There may also be some risks that are not yet known.

Participation in a clinical trial is voluntary. Your doctor or nurse may ask if you would like to enter a trial or you may hear about a trial from a fellow patient. Learn as much as you can about the trial, before you make up your mind.

Should You Participate in a Clinical Trial?

Most research studies have certain requirements that must be met in order for a subject to participate. These requirements are designed to ensure the safety of the subjects and the usefulness of the research. Some studies have broad requirements such as being over 18 years old. Other studies are specific to illness, age, or lifestyle.

Should I Participate in Research (English) ¿Debería participar en una investigación? (Español)

A Patient Reference Guide for Adults with a Serious or Life-Threatening Illness

Find a Clinical Trial

Meet a USC Patient and Doctor