General surgeons at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) are very involved in advancing the tools, techniques and medications used in their field. Dedicated surgical staff, who are specifically trained and certified in clinical research, work with the surgeons to assist the patient through the clinical trial process. 

NorthShore conducts the highest standards of confidentiality for patients participating in any clinical trial. We strictly adhere to Federal regulations and our own Institutional Review Board rules that guard patient privacy. In most research opportunities, patients are identified by a code number that is entirely separate from other identifiers in our high security computer system. Furthermore, if research is published, patient names are never disclosed and personal identifiers are not used. You can be assured; patient privacy is very important in all research endeavors. 

There are a number of ways to become involved in general surgical research at NorthShore. Some patients are part of a clinical database. These patients, often those who have cancer, are followed throughout their entire life. Periodically, data is gathered to determine the effectiveness of their treatment (outcomes) and survival status. By analyzing this information from hundreds or thousands of patients, further research can be created or a standard of care can be set. 

Tissue banking is another important aspect of surgical research. Patients undergoing surgery for cancer will be contacted by their physician or his or her designee about banking their tissue for research. The tumor and some normal tissue, removed at the time of surgery, is frozen and made available for researchers. No additional tissue is ever removed for research purposes.  Any research conducted on this tissue must undergo the same intense scrutiny as any clinical trial at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Researchers hope, by looking at this tissue, they can find ways to make earlier diagnosis and better treatment for these cancers. Tissue is saved from patients with the following cancers: breast, lung, pancreas, prostate and colorectal. 

For More Information

For more information on tissue banking, clinical databases or other research opportunities, please contact the Surgical Research Office at 847.570.1632.