The year 2016 to 2017 became South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s most successful in R&D to date, as the Trust boasted a 17% increase in the number of patients taking part in clinical trials compared with the previous year.
The recruitment of 3,457 across 195 different research studies the Trust is currently involved with also put it at the leading edge of research compared with other hospital trusts across England, as it smashed the national average increase in patients accessing clinical trials.
The South Tees Trust, which boasts an Institute for Learning, Research and Innovation (LRI) on its James Cook University Hospital site, also recruited the very first patient to one global study and the first patient in five separate UK studies.
Dr Caroline Wroe (above), the Trust’s director of Research and Innovation, said: “In 2016/17 we increased the number of patients involved in Research by 17%, compared to a National Average of 10%.
“So we’d like to say a massive thank you to the thousands of patients and over 200 staff involved in clinical trials in 2016 to 2017.
“We’re grateful for the hard work and dedication of all our staff involved in Research and Development as well as the thousands of patients who took part in clinical trials last year.
“Without them, our participation in research into new treatments that could benefit future patients for years to come would not be possible.”
The 195 trials South Tees took part in during the last financial year include the Mini Mitral trial, comparing the gold standard sternotomy (or open heart) procedure for treating a leaky heart valve with a keyhole technique, and the STAMPEDE Trial, which is investigating different drug treatments to prevent prostate tumour regrowth.
(Stampede Trial patient Ken Bashford with TV’s Jeff Stelling on this year’s Prostate Cancer UK March for Men. Pic courtesy of Prostate Cancer UK)
The trust has also recruited 44 women to the PRE-EMPT trial, looking at treatments for women with potentially debilitating and fertility-threatening endometriosis, while the Checkmate 227 trial, led by James Cook oncologists Dr Talal Mansy and Dr Louise Li is looking into new lung cancer treatments.
James Cook is one of just 10 centres in the world taking part in the global Checkmate 227 study, investigating the potential benefits of combining two immunotherapy drugs or immunotherapy with chemotherapy for lung cancer patients.
Another highlight for the year included the cardiothoracic team at James Cook, led by Dr Mark de Belder (top picture), being commended by the New York University-based leaders of the ISCHEMIA trial, set up to determine the best way to manage stable ischemic heart disease, for the high quality of its data and for being of the top recruiting teams in the UK.
R&D staff from across South Tees joined the National Institute of Health Research’s (NIHR) #IAmResearch campaign, celebrating their year of success as part of International Clinical Trials Day.
Staff shared the unique reasons they find research so rewarding on Twitter @SouthTees.
For more information on R&D at South Tees, visit https://www.southteeslri.co.uk/research-and-development