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Celebrating Clinical Trials Day!

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20th May, 2024

As Australia’s largest pub­lic pathol­o­gy provider, NSW Health Pathol­o­gy is also a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to research, pro­vid­ing sup­port and ser­vices for hun­dreds of clin­i­cal trials.

Today is Clin­i­cal Tri­als Day, cel­e­brat­ed around the world on 20 May to mark the day in 1747 that James Lind, a ship’s sur­geon in the British Roy­al Navy, start­ed what is con­sid­ered to be the first ran­domised clin­i­cal tri­al.

Lind stud­ied the effects of dif­fer­ent treat­ments on scurvy, a dis­ease we now know is caused by a defi­cien­cy of vit­a­min C and was a major scourge for sailors on long voyages.

He con­duct­ed a clin­i­cal tri­al involv­ing just 12 peo­ple, of whom only 2 received the treat­ment of cit­rus fruits.

Many his­to­ri­ans believe that treat­ing and pre­vent­ing scurvy was the sin­gle most impor­tant fac­tor in enhanc­ing the phys­i­cal health of the British fleet.

Here at NSW Health Pathol­o­gy, we also recog­nise the vital role played by clin­i­cal tri­als in improv­ing treat­ments for patients.

We pro­vide cru­cial sup­port for hun­dreds of clin­i­cal tri­als across Aus­tralia, with access to tis­sue sam­ples, ongo­ing col­lec­tion ser­vices, and per­form­ing high qual­i­ty pathol­o­gy test­ing includ­ing spe­cial­ist genom­ic testing.

In Sep­tem­ber 2023, NSW Health Pathol­o­gy launched a new eRe­search­With­Us por­tal aimed at mak­ing it easy for researchers to sub­mit an access request to our services.

Since then, we have received appli­ca­tions to sup­port more than 500 research projects, with over 70 per cent of them com­mer­cial clin­i­cal trials.

Many of these tri­als involve test­ing new med­ica­tions, pro­vid­ing treat­ment and hope for thou­sands of patients.

“This inno­v­a­tive, user-friend­ly dig­i­tal plat­form is a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward in how we sup­port researchers,” says Dr Shaun Roman, Asso­ciate Direc­tor Research of NSW Health Pathology.

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Dr Shaun Roman says NSWHP is play­ing a vital role in sup­port­ing clin­i­cal tri­als across the country.

“This dig­i­tal por­tal not only stream­lines the appli­ca­tion process but also rein­forces our com­mit­ment to advanc­ing sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge and ulti­mate­ly improv­ing the health and well-being of the com­mu­ni­ty in part­ner­ship with the broad­er research indus­try,” Dr Roman said.

NSW Health Pathol­o­gy has 8 Clin­i­cal Tri­als Coor­di­na­tors at sites across NSW to help man­age access to our sup­port research ser­vices and liaise with researchers.

Saba A Al Iedani (main pho­to) is the Clin­i­cal Tri­als and Research Unit Coor­di­na­tor for Syd­ney and South East Syd­ney and says she loves being part of a team com­bin­ing the exper­tise of pathol­o­gists, tech­ni­cians, clin­i­cians and researchers.

“New research and clin­i­cal tri­als can pos­i­tive­ly impact a patient’s treat­ment and recov­ery by iden­ti­fy­ing the fac­tors that make treat­ments work bet­ter,” she explains.

“Fur­ther­more, clin­i­cal tri­als exam­ine new ways to pre­vent or detect dis­eases at ear­ly stages and pro­vide valu­able insights to guide treat­ment deci­sions and enhance qual­i­ty of care. New clin­i­cal tri­als are con­sid­ered the key to med­ical improvements.

“NSW Health Pathol­o­gy plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in enabling this research offer­ing basic bio­med­ical ser­vices, to more com­plex stud­ies rely­ing on foren­sic, clin­i­cal and statewide biobank­ing services.”

Read more here.


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