Celebrate International Clinical Trials Day
At Cabrini, we have a proud history of leading clinical trials across multiple therapeutic areas including but not limited to, oncology, exercise, arthritis, back pain, surgery, palliative care, physiotherapy, psycho-oncology, intensive care and gastroenterology.
Our commitment to clinical trials has led to changes in medical practices worldwide, provided patients early access to the newest therapies being developed, and contributed to the process of new therapeutics becoming available to all patients.
Every year on 20 May we celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, a day where we pay thanks to the clinical researchers and all those who volunteer for clinical trials. Their commitment to clinical research ensures people receive the safest, most effective and best treatment options to improve their health.
The day itself is in recognition of James Lind, who started his scurvy clinical trial aboard a ship in 1747. This is largely considered to be the very first randomised clinical trial conducted and laid foundations for the clinical research we do today.
At Cabrini we have many clinical trial success stories, here are just a couple of our recent ones to celebrate.
New options for treating Advanced Endometrial Cancer (EC)
Despite excellent outcomes in patients with early-stage EC, those with metastatic or recurrent disease have limited options. Fewer than one in five women will survive five years or longer after the cancer is found.
Associate Professor Yoland Antill from Cabrini led a team of investigators from Australia to develop and complete the PHAEDRA trial that examined the activity of durvalumab in women with advanced EC. It was one of the very first studies to look at the use of immunotherapy in this tumour group. The results were extremely encouraging and very clearly demonstrated which endometrial tumour types are likely to respond to single agent immunotherapy and which tumours should be considered for combined therapies. PHAEDRA, together with other similar trials, have played a pivotal role in confirming the benefits of immunotherapy in treating advanced EC, and have resulted in the development of larger studies with combined therapies. The first of these combinations has resulted in the first new approval for therapy for women with advanced endometrial cancer in more than 30 years, a welcome but long overdue improvement.
New drug combination approved for treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)
For a long time, patients diagnosed with advanced RCC were advised it was a challenging disease. Only one in ten survived, and most died in a very short period of time.
At Cabrini, the Checkmate 9ER trial led by Associate Professor David Pook, examined a new and very effective tyrosine kinase inhibitor, cabozantinib, combined with the immunotherapeutic, nivolumab, as a first line treatment option for advanced RCC patients. The results were astounding, there was improvement in all measures of patient benefit seen. The combined treatment was approved by the FDA in January 2021, followed by the TGA in October, meaning more Australian patients can now benefit.
Oncology Clinical Trials Unit – Our goal is to have 1000 patients on clinical trials
The oncology clinical trials unit is a highly dedicated team providing the greatest level of care for all patients participating in oncology clinical trials. The program is highly successful and is able to offer our patients treatments, in particular novel immunotherapy drugs and targeted therapies that would normally not be available for years.
The early phase 1a/1b trial program in particular addresses a key clinical need in the longitudinal care of cancer patients. Early phase trials offer patients with advanced and refractory cancer the opportunity to access therapeutics in development with the primary aim of trialing potentially effective therapies.
In early 2017 the oncology clinical trials unit commenced their first early stage phase 1a clinical trial, and phase 1b trials had only commenced onsite about one year prior.
Fast-forward five years, and now 36 of 94 trials currently being managed have an early stage trial component (phase 1a, 1b and 1b/2), accounting for a significant 38 per cent of all studies being run.
The team has set themselves a target, to have 1000 patients on trial by 2030. The target is going to be facilitated by the development of phase 2 of the Cabrini Cancer Institute, with a state-of-the-art trials unit being designed to significantly enhance the capacity for patients to be on clinical trials. New oncology trials are constantly being opened at Cabrini, providing more patients with more opportunities.
For more information about oncology clinical trials please contact Micheleine Uhe, Team Manager Oncology Research at MUhe@cabrini.com.au
The success of clinical trials at Cabrini comes from the commitment and teamwork of our clinician researchers, patients, study coordinators, hospital service departments and administrative supporters. Please join us in celebrating International Clinical Trials Day, by recognising the people who are committed to clinical trials and thanking them for the work they do every day to improve worldwide health.