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International Clinical trials Day celebrations

Around 100 staff attended an international clinical trials day seminar at Royal North Shore Hospital to learn about the NSLHD’s extraordinary research scope, which included talks on cutting-edge gene therapy and physiotherapy for high-risk infants.

International Clinical Trials Day recognises the anniversary of the first clinical trial by James Lind in 1747, who investigated the causes of scurvy on board the HMS Salisbury. It also aims to highlight incredible scientific research work produced globally and locally. 

Peter Rophail, acting Executive Director of Operations said it was important to celebrate and recognise clinical trials staff and showcase the breadth of their work.

Executive Director of Research A/Professor Naomi Hammond said that for decades, clinical trials had led to life-saving treatments and improved health outcomes. She paid tribute to patients, their families and the community at large for participating in trials.

She also announced that the NORTH Foundation, along with their philanthropic partners, would be funding 20 places for clinical trials staff to undertake a Macquarie University graduate certificate of clinical trials operations.

Several clinicians highlighted some of the trials running in hematology, dermatology, endocrinology, allied health and renal care.

Professor William Stevenson discussed the case of a 20-year-old man with leukemia who joined a clinical trial and was treated with WU-CART-007, an “off the shelf” immune system cell product that has undergone extensive genetic engineering to fight cancer. 

In dermatology, Dr Rebecca Saunderson gave insights into the various conditions her department treated and the positive feedback they had received from patients on both commercial and investigator-led clinical trials.

Dr Barbara Lucas presented research that investigated parents administering ultra-early intervention physiotherapy to pre-term and infants at high risk of cerebral palsy or motor delays. While it was found to have no clinically worthwhile effects, the parents perceived the treatment as beneficial to their babies. 

Meanwhile, Dr Brendan Neuen highlighted the international impact the renal department’s research had had on dialysis and Type 2 diabetes care over the past decade, and their ongoing work, which includes 50 patients enrolled in 20 randomised trials. 

Dr Matti Gild gave an overview of the many trials running in endocrinology, including those for bone and thyroid cancers.

As part of the International Clinical Trials day events, a display was staged in the RNSH foyer involving several research trial teams. The display offered the chance to highlight the diverse range of trials underway and engage with the community.

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