Clinical Research Studies at Southwest Care Center Santa Fe

Southwest Care Center (SCC) takes pride in the care and attention we put into our clinical research program. Our research has led to significant advancements in a number of disease states and provides our patients with treatment options they might not have otherwise. Safety is and always has been our number one concern, which is why we closely monitor and follow strict safety protocols for the participants who are enrolled in our clinical studies.

Studies conducted by SCC may be sponsored by government organizations, academic institutions, as well as pharmaceutical companies that are developing or testing new drugs. Additionally, the SCC team develops and implements studies of its own. All of our protocols and procedures are performed under the umbrella of an independent review board whose primary concern is patient safety and freedom of choice.

At Southwest Care Center, two principles underpin our research program:

  • The research must provide an option or options for treating our patients which is otherwise unavailable.
  • The research must significantly add to the body of knowledge of prevention and treatment of disease.

Unless we are certain that one or the other of these principles has been met, we do not proceed with a research protocol.

Learn more about our current research offerings, as well as future research opportunities.

The Leading HIV/AIDS Research Center in New Mexico

With the introduction of one of the first Protease Inhibitors, Indinavir, in late 1994, patients with HIV/AIDS finally saw a dramatic increase in the amount of time the HIV virus can be suppressed, as well as a significant reduction in the amount of secondary illnesses patients contracted. This marked a watershed moment for the HIV/AIDS research community and laid the framework for the design and introduction of several subsequent antiretroviral treatments.

Southwest Care Center has cultivated an excellent reputation thanks to its contributions to research that has moved the field of HIV treatment from coping with a disease that was almost uniformly fatal to one that can be effectively managed and gives the patient the possibility of a normal life span. Our research findings have been published in a number of leading journals and have been presented at major national and international conferences.

Hepatitis C (HCV) Treatment and Research

With a solid reputation for quality clinical research, Southwest Care Center expanded our scope of research to include hepatitis C in 2009. Our first trial to study telaprevir in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin was a great success and positioned SCC to help many more people in Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico.

Recent studies by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the number of people living with hepatitis C in the United States is rising. In fact, data shows that the number of new cases between 2010 and 2015 nearly tripled, marking a 15-year high. Additionally, many people with chronic hepatitis C don’t even realize they have it, and it goes widely underreported.

New hepatitis C infections are mainly among young people, with the highest overall number of new infections occurring in those between 20 and 29 years old. The primary reason behind this is an increase in the rates of IV drug use largely associated with America’s ongoing opioid epidemic. However, the majority (three-quarters) of the 3.5 million Americans already living with hepatitis C are baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965. This demographic is six times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than other age groups and at much greater risk of death from the virus.

This means that testing and treatment through Southwest Care Center is more important that ever before, especially because people with hepatitis C may show no symptoms, but it can still do significant damage to the liver.

According to the CDC, the following groups are at significant risk and should be tested for hepatitis C:

  • Those born between 1945 and 1960
  • Past and present IV drug users
  • Those with HIV/AIDS
  • Recipients of blood transfusions before 1992, before better testing of donors became available
  • Hemodialysis patients
  • People who received body piercings or tattoos done with non-sterile instruments
  • People with known exposure to the hepatitis C virus, such as:
    • Healthcare workers after needle sticks involving a patient with hepatitis C
    • Recipients of blood or organs from a donor who tested positive for hepatitis C

At Southwest Care Center, we offer a rapid-result hepatitis C test that typically returns results within about 20 minutes. Should you test positive, SCC offers the most up-to-date medical treatments and research options. With current antiviral treatments, we can now cure approximately 95% of people with hepatitis C.

If you have questions about HCV and your personal risk, please call us (505-394-2003) and we will be glad to answer.