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Medical Process: An Overview


1. Developing a research question.
e.g., Why does chemotherapy fail certain patients?

2. Reviewing relevant publications.
i.e., Is information available on the research question to help form a hypothesis?

3. Forming a hypothesis.
e.g., Certain changes in patients’ DNA make them chemotherapy resistant.

4. Testing the hypothesis.
e.g., What research steps are needed to support the hypothesis? Will the research be done in test tubes, people or both?

5. Obtaining approval for clinical trials, if needed.
i.e., Submitting research proposal to ethical review board(s) if research involves human subjects.

6. Writing a research funding proposal.
i.e., Elucidating the research project on paper to solicit funders.

7. Securing funding.
i.e., Receiving research dollars from the federal government and/or private sources.

8. Collecting data.
e.g., Conducting experiments on chemotherapy resistant blood cells to identify DNA changes associated with chemotherapy resistance; conducting experiments to determine if the changes are in the DNA of chemotherapy resistant patients but not others.

9. Analyzing data.
e.g., Confirming there are certain changes in the DNA of chemotherapy resistant patients but not others, thereby supporting the hypothesis that certain DNA changes lead to chemotherapy resistance.

10. Publishing data & interpretations.
i.e., Having research reviewed by peer researchers and making research available in publications.

11.Modifying medical treatments based on data.
e.g., Testing patients’ DNA for changes leading to chemotherapy resistance and, if present, administering non-chemotherapy treatments.