Patient research includes studies of disease mechanisms, detection, treatment and prevention, involving direct interaction with patients as research subjects.
Therapeutic clinical trials are an important activity of all divisions in the Department of Medicine and engage many of our faculty. Examples include, in Division of Cardiovascular Medicine:
- Developing less invasive and more effective pacemakers/defibrillators
- Improving ultrasound and MRI images to detect atherosclerosis
- Advancing pharmacological agents, heart assist devices, and artificial hearts
Oncology, Hematology, and Bone Marrow Transplantation, the divisions involved in studying cancer, are also heavily involved in clinical trials to:
- Produce vaccines to prevent disease recurrences
- Develop new drugs, and monoclonal antibodies to control or cure various cancers
- Work on cellular therapies to reconstitute bone marrow function or dendritic cells to simulate immune responses.
Medical Device Development
Cardiovascular Medicine produced important advances in catheter-based treatment of coronary artery disease, including the development of the first practical angioplasty system and the invention of intravascular ultrasound. Current projects include the development of new drug-coated stents for restenosis and novel techniques to promote new blood vessel growth in the heart.
The Division of Gastroenterology and Heptalogy pioneered new methods for diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases based on a minimally invasive approach. A new research program in collaboration with the Aero/Astro Department in Engineering is working to develop an electronic capsule to identify and locate abnormalities in the stomach or small intestine.
Pulmonary Medicine investigators developed techniques to deliver inhaled medicine. The group also focuses on exploring methods for early diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension and other abnormalities of the heart and lungs.
Stanford Medicine is actively engaged in strengthening our participation in the evolving field of “personalized medicine,” dedicated to improving the individual relationship between physician and patient.