International Clinical Trials Day 20th May 202118th May 2021
20th May marks International Clinical Trials Day, which raises awareness of the role clinical trials play in giving patients and families hope for a healthier and more promising tomorrow. This year, our clinical research team would like to celebrate the role of clinical trials in cancer research and invite anyone who would be interested in partaking in clinical research to think about how you can take part by answering the WHY, WHAT and HOW questions.
Why? Cancer research transforms and saves lives. The goal is to develop safe and effective methods to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer. Research in the last year has rightly been focused on COVID 19; however this may in turn have a positive impact on cancer research. COVID 19 research has shown real time benefits to patients with targeted treatments, improved outcomes and the huge leap in the production of the various effective vaccinations. This has resulted in an increased public awareness with clinical research very much part of the national conversation.
What? Within SEHSCT, we recruited a total 243 of patients to cancer research from 2017-2020. A total of 106 patients were recruited during the period 2019-2020. Currently we have four studies open across many types of cancer and two studies pending. In Northern Ireland, The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network (NICTN) co-ordinates and promotes cancer clinical trials, and works in partnership with the NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum, a group of patients and carers passionate about the value of cancer research. The average annual recruitment across NI to cancer research 2017- 2020 was 552. A total of 175 patients were recruited to research studies during 2019/20. Despite the pandemic, care for patients participating in cancer clinical trials has been on-going. Research nurses at the Ulster Hospital throughout 2020 and into 2021 have done exceptional work in COVID19 research. The Recovery trial has recruited 117 patients to date , with data regularly reviewed so that effective treatment can be can be identified quickly and made available to all patients. This is a great achievement by all involved across research and clinical teams and services.
How? If you are reading this as a patient or family member or friend, please ask about cancer research. You can find out what local trials are available in Northern Ireland at http://bepartofresearch.uk . Additionally the message is promoted across social network and you can follow them on Twitter @NIHRtakepart and Facebook www.facebook.com/publichealthagency.