Monday, 28 May 2018

International Clinical Trials Day at MHTP

Professor Bill Sievert
The Clinical Trials Open Forum was held last Monday at the Monash Health Translation Precinct to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May.

International Clinical Trials Day is recognised as the day that James Lind started a study to determine the cause of scurvy - the first recorded controlled clinical trial. Since then International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials and research in healthcare.
In 2017, there were 3762 participants actively enrolled in 391 clinical trials at Monash Health. Clinical trials are a major component of Monash Health’s research profile and present an opportunity for consumers to access the latest technology and better resources.
The Clinical Trials Open Forum was a great opportunity for Nurses, Doctors and Research Staff from Monash Health, Monash University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research to share their experiences from past and present clinical trials, and listen to the incredible stories of patients who have participated in clinical trials at Monash Health. 
Professor William Sievert, Director of the Gastrointestinal and Liver Unit at Monash Health, hosted the forum, where a series of guest speakers presented. 
Glenda, a patient who participated in a clinical trial involving haemodialysis, shared her experience and expressed her appreciation for the support she received from Jo Nandkumar, Clinical Research Nurse at the Department of Nephrology, who also spoke about her role as a clinical trials nurse at Monash Health. 
Dr Emily Kotschet, Investigator and Cardiologist at Monash Heart, demonstrated the role that an Investigator plays in clinical trials, while Erin Hill, Clinical Trials Coordinator for the Paediatric, Diabetic and Endocrinology Fund, shared how the patient experience is different for children participating in clinical trials. 
Debbie Dell, Manager at the Human Research Ethics Committee, spoke about her role in shaping the Ethics Committee at Monash Health, and the importance of protecting the interests of both patients and researchers in clinical trials.
Tessy Thomas, Clinical Trials Centre Research Nurse, explained how she became a clinical trials nurse, the various challenges she has encountered and the difference her role has made in our patient’s lives.
The highlight of the forum was a presentation by Effie Atkins, a patient who participated in a clinical trial for cancer treatment at the Monash Health Translation Precinct. She gave an inspiring speech about the impact this treatment has had on improving her quality of life, successfully shrinking the size of her tumour and giving her the opportunity to look forward to a bright future ahead.
This experience inspired Effie to create the Dr Hope Foundation, which has raised over $80,000 to employ an additional Doctor and expand participant numbers in clinical cancer trials at Monash Health!
To learn more about Effie’s incredible journey and help support the Dr Hope Foundation, please visit her Facebook Page.
A lovely afternoon tea was provided after the forum, followed by an exciting tour of the Clinical Trials Centre at the Monash Health Translational Precinct.
Thank you to Cheryl Coleman, Clinical Trials Centre Manager, for organising this fantastic event. 
A special thank you to all the Nurses, Doctors, Research Staff and patients at Monash Health who dedicate their lives to the development of new treatments and advancement of medical research.

Story courtesy of Monash Health Public Relations

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