Home » Clinical Research Center (CRC) an invaluable resource for Cancer Center investigators
HOUSTON — July 1, 2013 – Texas Children’s General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) as changed its name to the Clinical Research Center (CRC) and is moving from the 10th floor of West Tower to the 7th floor of Abercrombie.
The CRC provides a clinical research infrastructure for investigators who want to conduct patient-oriented clinical research at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The new facility consists of outpatient clinic research space, 3 inpatient/swing research rooms, 5 clinical bed spaces, a room for patient interviews and consultations, a sample preparation laboratory, a blood draw room, a waiting area, a playroom and a kitchen. A research dietitian and dietary technicians provide specialized diets for research protocols that require these services.
Staffed by 10 specially trained research nurses, the CRC supports more than 100 investigators and about 340 active research protocols.
“We conduct many innovative research studies here that cut across all disciplines,” said Dr. Susan Blaney, Department of Pediatrics vice chair of research. “Many of the studies evaluate the effects of new therapies in children and are intensive in terms of obtaining blood and other biologic samples to learn as much about the therapy that we can. The nurses who staff the CRC are remarkable because they’re able to work with a full spectrum of patients and protocols – from the simplest to the most complex.”
The CRC admits adults as well as children to the unit and provides coverage 24 hours a day. The outpatient clinic adjoins the inpatient unit and provides nursing coverage Monday-Friday. In addition, the CRC provides biostatistical review of all protocols and furnishes additional biostatistical support for active projects when requested.
“Some other children’s hospitals have clinical research centers, but the support that we get from Texas Children’s stands above the rest,” Blaney said. “It’s a major benefit for the faculty working here, and it’s been really phenomenal in terms of making sure we don’t have any interruption or obstacles in trying to develop new therapies.”
To ensure that this highly regarded resource is optimally used, a scientific advisory committee meets monthly to review protocols, assess their scientific merit and allocate resources. Priority is given to NIH-funded studies, although investigators funded by other sources also are eligible to use the facilities. All studies receiving support from the CRC first must be approved by the Baylor College of Medicine Internal Review Board (IRB) and the CRC Scientific Advisory Committee.
“Our goal is to facilitate all types of research so that we can truly impact children’s health,” Blaney said. “The CRC provides important resources that facilitate the movement of new therapies and treatments from the bench to the bedside.”
In fact, in its 50-year history GCRC/CRC has played host to a number of notable studies and breakthroughs, including:
By Eden McCleskey – Texas Children’s Hospital