Patients taking part in two of our ongoing clinical trials are urging others to follow in their footsteps and get involved in potentially life-changing research.
Their appeal comes on International Clinical Trials Day – a day of recognition for those who conduct and take part in clinical trials to try and improve public health.
Studies are often used to compare current treatments with potentially better ones, so the NHS can keep improving the care it offers.
Key to this is patients taking part in trials as today’s research is tomorrow’s treatment.
We currently have 47 ongoing studies and 23 where patients are having follow-up appointments, across 22 specialities. We’ve also expressed an interest in a further 24 studies.
We recruited nearly 1,000 patients into studies last year, the vast majority of which were infection (COVID-19-related) studies.
Patients’ experiences of clinical trials
James Wilson was recently recruited for the AMGEN/VESALIUS clinical trial, which looks at the impact of a drug in patients at risk of heart disease.
This is a global study with a target goal of 12,000 patients and 785 sites taking part.
James had to go into Grimsby hospital as he was getting chest pains and has a history of heart disease. He had an angiogram and a stent inserted into his heart. It was during this time he was asked if he’d like to take part in the study.
He said: “I said yes as I wanted to see the benefits, not just for myself, but also for others.
“I went to meet the research team who were very supportive. They are monitoring my medication and I see them every 16 weeks. I can only think taking part in this trial will be beneficial to me.”
Research nurse, Joanne Hill, added: “The follow-up period is between three and four years and patients generally feel very well looked after when participating in these type of studies.”
I wanted to see the benefits, not just for myself, but also for othersJames Wilson, clinical trial participant
Another trial participant, who wished to remain anonymous, was recruited for the PLATFORM trial. This is looking at giving more treatment for oesophageal cancer and stomach cancer that can’t be removed by surgery.
A few years ago, she had problems swallowing and was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. At the time, she was asked if she would like to take part in the study and leapt at the chance.
She said: “After being on the trial, the doctor told me that the cancer was disappearing from my lymph nodes. I would definitely encourage other people to get involved. The research team are absolutely brilliant. I cannot speak highly enough about them.”
Patients who are undergoing treatment are being encouraged to ask their family doctor, nurse or consultant about clinical research, and whether it might be right for them.
Rachel Pollard, research governance manager, said: “It’s ok to ask about clinical trials when you come in for appointments. You will be playing a part in designing treatments and therapies for the future and helping others benefit from this research. We always need volunteers and we would encourage you to find out more.”